Left at the boarding gate: Perez in race to make Australian Open

One Australian player will have to serve 14 days of mandatory quarantine in Australia – outside of the Australian Open program – after reporting a symptom of COVID-19 prior to her flight out of the Middle East.

Ellen Perez, 25, who competed in the qualifying event in Dubai, had a runny nose before boarding one of the charter flights but later recorded a negative COVID-19 test.

She is now working closely with Tennis Australia to secure a return ticket to Australia and her doubles commitments at the Open next month.

Australian player Ellen Perez in doubles action at the US Open.Credit:Getty Images

"I had planned to board the charter flight out of Dubai on Friday, and had checked-in, and only an hour before boarding I reported having a runny nose. I was then informed due to it being a symptom of COVID, and following Dubai regulations, I was not allowed to board the flight as I could potentially put the other members on the flight at risk," Perez, ranked No.47 in doubles, told The Age.

"It's not the easiest of situations as flights are very limited and expensive. But Tennis Australia have been amazing and been working around the clock to get me on a flight, no matter the expense, as they want to ensure I can get home safely.

"It now means I have to enter the regular quarantine as a returning citizen and won't be able to leave my hotel for 14 days but I guess I'm not the only Australian Open player to be in this lockdown situation."

Perez also did a two-week stint in quarantine in Australia late last year after playing overseas.

"I'm hoping my first time around has prepared me well for this encounter and with the Australian Open looming on the other side, I'm sure it's going to provide me with that extra motivation to remain active and positive," she said.

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