Australian Open 2021: Kiwi doubles star Marcus Daniell enjoys extra day preparation ahead of Grand Slam

New Zealand doubles player Marcus Daniell says there is a positive to play at the Australian Open warm-up tournaments being called off after a hotel quartine worker tested positive for COVID-19. 

Thursday's warm-up matches at Melbourne Park were cancelled after the case was announced late on Wednesday. Everyone who underwent quarantine at the Grand Hyatt hotel was instructed to get tested and isolate until they had their result.

The Kiwi No.2 doubles player feels the extra day's preparation has come at the right moment ahead of the year's first Grand Slam. 

Daniell was on one of the two flights that forced 47 players into two-weeks hard quarantine after three COVID-19 infections were reported. 

"Well for me it's a blessing in disguise as I couldn't leave my hotel room for two weeks and you understand deeply how difficult tennis is at this level is when you haven't moved properly for a couple of weeks," Daniell tells Newshub.

"Everyone is stiff and sore, my shoulder feels like it's about to fall off and the extra day to get ready for me is really nice.

"Having an extra day for my body to settle in, to hit more balls and feel at this stage that I've given myself 20 percent more preparation before the tournament is actually a nice thing." 

It will be business as usual on Friday and tournament officials have confirmed play will start as normal on Monday. 

"We're absolutely confident the Australian Open will go ahead," Tiley told reporters. "We are starting on Monday."

As of Friday morning, 15 of the 17 close contacts have tested negative showing the Open has survived another big scare. 

"This does give us three days for the lead-in events to be completed," he says, adding that the draw for the Grand Slam tournament had been postponed from Thursday to Friday.

Daniell feels the extra court time will be good for him but wouldn't be surprised to see players withdrawing to protect their body. 

"It's much easier to play two doubles back-to-back than to play two singles," Daniell says. "The other part of it is we are in a week before a Grand Slam and hopefully the Open goes ahead and if it does, these singles guys have to be really worried about taking care of their body.

"If I was a singles player, I'd be very careful or withdrawing from a second singles match of a day to try protect the body."

Matches will resume at Melbourne Park on Friday with Daniell teaming up with fellow Kiwi Mike Venus and will take on Federico Delbonis and compatriot Artem Sitak at the Great Ocean Road Open