It appears Uruguayan tennis star Pablo Cuevas has been accorded the same training privileges as the Top-3 in men’s tennis while in isolation ahead of the Australian Open 2021.
“Only ones able to practice I guess”: Riley Opelka takes a dig at Cuevas
And, engaging in some harmless banter ahead of the year’s first Grand Slam. big-serving American giant Reiley Opelka took a sly dig at the Uruguayan, pointing out that none apart from Cuevas, Rafael Nadal, defending champion Novak Djokovic and last year’s losing finalist Dominic Thiem are being allowed to practice right now.
“Pablo, Novak, Rafa and Thiem are the only ones able to practice I guess,” the American wrote.
As part of the quarantine rules laid down by the government of Victoria, the host state, all players have to undergo two weeks of hard quarantine after setting foot in Australia.
The only leeway that they have in terms of movement during the quarantine period is that they can shuttle between their hotel rooms and practice/training sites.
However, Cuevas, currently ranked 68th by the ATP, certainly isn’t complaining as he has found his own unique way to gear up for the year’s first Grand Slam.
Tennis TV has shared footage of the 35-year-old Uruguayan bouncing a tennis ball off a mattress on its Instagram page.
Bouncing tennis off mattress, Cuevas-style
The video shows Cuevas practicing his backhand by bouncing the ball off the mattress placed against the wall.
The ball comes off the mattress, much like a kid on a trampoline, enabling the veteran Uruguayan to shift positions and hit his backhands.
While not as effective as knocking balls on a practice court, it sure seems a smart move to shake off the rust and get into the groove.
The post, tagged with the message “Pre-tournament practice – 2021 style”, drew instant likes and comments from many of his colleagues on the men’s Tour.
Opelka also dropped a comment saying he is nowhere near as resourceful as the Uruguayan when it comes to finding innovative ways to practice.
“I have not been 1/10 as productive as this guy,” the American said.
Vasek Pospisil wishes he had a room as big as Cuevas’
Veteran Canadian tennis star Vasek Pospisil said he wished he had as much space in his hotel room to knock balls off a mattress.
“Wish I had this much space in my room,” the Canadian wrote.
Even before it rolls, the Australian Open is in the news for the wrong reasons as some players have complained about the food being served under quarantine.
Read More: After Roger Federer’s Withdrawal, Rod Laver Announces Sad News Ahead of Australian Open 2021
Worse, as many as 47 players have been forced into quarantine without the option of training after a few of their fellow passengers en route tested positive for Covid-19.