Opinion: Rajeev Ram has been stuck in hotel for nearly two weeks before Australian Open, but he's not complaining

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The first COVID case in the U.S. was found in January, 2020. One year later, the numbers surrounding the pandemic are alarming.

USA TODAY

Rajeev Ram, the top American in the world doubles rankings and one half of the men’s team that won last year’s Australian Open, got off a socially distanced charter plane from Los Angeles to Melbourne early in the morning on Jan. 15.

Along with a group of other players and coaches, he made it through the arrival procedures in Australia, boarded a bus and checked into a hotel where he and everyone else on the flight was tested for COVID-19.

When tennis players committed to play in this year’s Australian Open, they were well aware they were entering a country that has had among the most strict lockdowns and protocols anywhere in the world, including limiting the number of people flying in from overseas and then quarantining them for two weeks upon arrival. It’s been a huge part of Australia’s success against COVID-19, with just 30,000 total cases since the pandemic began. 

Tennis Australia, which runs the Australian Open, was able to negotiate a narrow exception for players that would allow them five hours out…

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