Sunbathing by the window, hitting balls against a mattress and running sprints in corridors – quarantined tennis players are getting creative as they try to kill time in their hotel rooms before next month’s Australian Open. More players were forced into hard quarantine ahead of the tournament, which starts on February 8, with officials confirming on Monday that four additional participants, including an athlete, tested positive for Covid-19 among those arriving in Melbourne. More than 70 players are unable to train outside their hotel rooms for 14 days ahead of the year’s first grand slam that was delayed from its usual late January start. “I’m committed to do whatever it takes to get ready despite the circumstances. Time to get creative,” Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur said in a tweet accompanied by a video of her hitting a ball against an upturned mattress. I guess I found my post tennis career job. Anyone in need of my services? We can make it happen after these 14 days. #engineerBee pic.twitter.com/TdgshvnOIq — Barbora Strycova (@BaraStrycova) January 17, 2021 World number 38 Barbora Strycova posted a video of herself assembling an exercise bike and joked she may have found her true calling. “Anyone in need of my services? We can make it happen after these 14 days,” Strycova added. Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas continued his beach-themed videos after pretending to ride the waves on his bed by “sunbathing” in front of his window. As you all know, I am one of the players that has been placed in full isolation. Not the easiest news to get but staying strong and making the best of it. I am committed to do whatever it takes to get ready despite the circumstances. Time to get creative pic.twitter.com/pTdZDy0saM — Ons Jabeur (@Ons_Jabeur) January 18, 2021 However, American Reilly Opelka said he was not a fan of the videos and said players should count themselves lucky to be in Melbourne for the tournament. “I find tennis players sharing their quarantine workouts on their Instagram story so non-amusing. We already saw these same videos six months ago,” Opelka tweeted. “Not even something to joke about. We’re fortunate enough to even be in Australia.” Health authorities in Victoria state have now reported nine infections among passengers who arrived on charter flights for the Australian Open and officials said more cases may come to light as testing continues. “All four are associated with the tennis, and they’re all tucked away safely in hotel quarantine,” Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews said of the new cases. Passengers on three Australian Open charter flights have been sent into hard quarantine. Others are allowed five hours outside their hotel rooms each day for preparation, in line with arrangements made by organisers Tennis Australia with health authorities. “I think the people who tested positive thus far were probably exposed before they got on the flights,” Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said. “But it will be the test results in coming days that will give us a picture of whether anyone’s had infection transmitted to them on a flight.” The growing infection count has sparked calls from pundits to cancel the grand slam. “It’s time to be selfish, time for Victoria to put ourselves first,” 3AW radio broadcaster Neil Mitchell said. “Call off the Australian Open. It’s not worth the risk.” Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley said on Sunday the tournament would start as scheduled. Many Australians have questioned the decision to host the tournament with organisers flying in 1,200 tennis players and their entourages Down Under when thousands of citizens are stranded overseas owing to the pandemic. A Spanish tennis website reported that world number one Novak Djokovic had written to Tiley asking that quarantine restrictions be eased for players, including reducing the mandatory 14 days of isolation and having players moved to “private houses with tennis courts” so they could train. The report drew a backlash from Australians on social media, with Djokovic and players told to check their “privilege”. Andrews said the biosecurity protocols would not be changed. “It doesn’t mean that everyone likes them, but that’s not the world we’re in,” he said. “This is a wildly infectious pandemic. There are rules that need to be followed.” Tennis Australia did not immediately respond to request for comment on Djokovic’s letter. Australia’s biggest outbreak of Covid-19 started from returned travellers infecting staff at quarantine hotels in Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, last year. About 800 people died in the second wave of the outbreak and about five million people were plunged into a hard lockdown that lasted nearly four months. Australia has reported a total of more than 28,600 coronavirus infections and some 909 deaths since the pandemic began, with border closures and speedy tracking systems helping keep numbers relatively low.