Kei Nishikori is in quarantine in Melbourne with a host of other players ahead of the Australian Open after arriving in the country a few days ago on a flight where three people tested positive for COVID-19.
While neither Nishikori or any of his fellow players aboard the flight tested positive, all have been deemed close contacts, meaning they are all under hard quarantine in Melbourne. For the players, it means they cannot leave their rooms — even to train — for two weeks.
Nishikori updated fans on his situation in a video uploaded to his official app on Tuesday.
"I have to stay in this hotel room for two weeks, which is an experience I've never had before," Nishikori said. "There's only a small risk, but it can't be helped."
There are 72 players, including Nishikori, under hard quarantine as a result of five positive tests emanating from separate charter flights bringing players and staff to Melbourne.
Nishikori said he's been in his room for three days. While he said he hasn't suffered from much jet lag, the situation is having an impact on his preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year.
"I can't even take one step out of the room, so I'm not even able to use the hallways to run, so I exercise in the room," Nishikori said.
"I'm watching videos of my tennis to get a feel for my game and I'm passing the time in my room by training as much as I can."
This isn't the first time Nishikori has been affected by the ongoing pandemic.
Nishikori announced he'd tested positive for the coronavirus on Aug. 16 of last year, causing him to pull out of the Western and Southern Open, which was being held in New York as a warmup for the U.S. Open. He tested positive again the next week.
Nishikori tested negative on Aug. 26 but still pulled out of the U.S. Open, citing a lack of practice time.
The Japanese star is hoping for a rebound campaign after a difficult 2020.
Nishikori had surgery on his right elbow in October of 2019 and then had his return to the ATP Tour pushed back because of his coronavirus diagnosis. He only appeared in four tournaments last year, including the French Open, where he lost to Stefano Travaglia in the second round. He ended his 2020 season after suffering a shoulder injury in that event.
Nishikori had been training in Florida before traveling to California to join up with coach Micheal Chang to continue his preparations before leaving for Australia.
"Being able to practice sets and points, I felt like my senses were getting better," he said.
Nishikori is currently ranked No. 41 in the ATP singles rankings.
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