Frenchman Benoit Paire has criticised Australian Open organisers for their "shameful" treatment of players during quarantine before the Grand Slam event, claiming strict restrictions and lack of training contributed to his first-round exit.
World No.29 Paire, who lost 2-6 6-2 6-7(5) 5-7 to Egor Gerasimov, was one of 72 players who were unable to leave their rooms to train during quarantine, after passengers on their flights to Melbourne tested positive for COVID-19.
A few top-ranked players, including world No.1 Novak Djokovic and US Open champion Dominic Thiem, had self-isolated in Adelaide before an exhibition event and were allowed to train five hours a day.
"I think it's shit and what happened is shameful," Paire told French media. "I'm very happy with my level... but this tournament, I think it's really crap.
"There was also a positive case on the flight to Adelaide, but there, they had time to take blood samples. We were told to quarantine.
"Either we do the same things and the same rules for everyone... I do not understand why it's not fair for everyone. This match, I could have won it, if I had had one or two more training sessions, a normal preparation."
The 31-year-old says money is a major factor in hosting the February 8-21 event amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's all about the money," he says. "There is a huge loss, if they don't make the tournament.
"Most players think that there is a little bit of money to be made and they come for it.
"I also play for money, but if you have to make so many sacrifices and things go so badly, let it be such a hassle, at some point you just have to say stop."