Australian Open players have been told not to feed the mice in their hotels rooms while quarantining in Melbourne, days after number 28 Yulia Putintseva complained that she couldn’t sleep because of several rodents occupying her room and jumping out from inside her closet.
Putintseva is one of 47 players and their crews who have been forced to go into isolation for 14 days in their hotel rooms after COVID-19 cases were detected on the two chartered flights that carried them to Melbourne.
The Kazak player spent two hours (according to a Twitter post) trying to change her room after a mouse appeared, but her new room had even more mice than the previous one.
“Different room same story - wanted to go to sleep but noooope,” she wrote. “There’s actually a lot of them! Not even 1 in my room now.”
Victoria state police minister Lisa Neville has now asked players and other guests of the hotel to refrain from feeding the mice.
“As I understand there may have been some feeding going on,” she told the press.
“I’d just encourage them to minimise interaction with the mice, we will keep doing pest control if we need to, but hopefully that pest control work that was done this week will have fixed the problem.”
Putintseva takes a swipe at Rennae Stubbs: “And what do you say now?”
Putintseva meanwhile furthered an online feud with former No 1 and six time Grand Slam doubles champion Rennae Stubbs, who seemed to downplay Putintseva’s quarantine complaints.
After Putintseva posted a picture of herself holding up a sign with the words, “We need fresh air to breathe,” explaining that she wasn’t able to open the windows in her room, Stubbs took a swipe at her.
Stubbs also posted: "I have opinions on these tennis players complaining about the quarantine situation here in OZ & for the @AustralianOpen & theyre NOT going to want to hear it from me. Its got something to do with a minimum of $100,000, free flights, food & lots more, want to talk @ me kids?"
Putintseva replied with a video of the mice in her room, asking Stubbs: “And what do you say now? I should not complain and just go to sleep?”
But Stubbs insistent she had no idea about the rodents.
“I never said anything about the mice & had no idea u had them & im sorry u do,” wrote Stubbs. “The tweet to u originally started in response to u saying “You need fresh air to breathe” & I responded “no you don’t”. Go back & take a look at how it started, you deleted the original photo/tweet.”