After a terminal fire at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, the transport hub of the Italian capital was shut down for most of Thursday. Among the thousands of affected passengers were (many) tennis players; a lot of the players trying to get to the Foro Italico either to play qualifying or to practice were forced to spend a lot of time at various airports, with a lot of them being stuck in Madrid far longer than they wanted to be.
Spaniard Silvia Soler Espinosa was one of the first players to tweet about the delays after several flights were cancelled. Recent Marrakech champion Elina Svitolina quickly followed suit.
(Although after rushing from Morocco to Madrid last weekend and still winning her first round match easily, she should be almost used to these traveling shenanigans — maybe.)
Victoria Azarenka and hitting partner Sascha Bajin also arrived at Madrid airport around mid-day, seeing a ton of players hanging around the airport waiting for a flight over to Rome. Elsewhere, Jarmila Gajdosova was starting to get hungry from all the waiting.
James Duckworth and compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis both struggled to get on any flight but the 19 year-old still saw the funny side and brought the in-jokes, whereas countrywoman Sam Stosur let the sarcasm do all the talking:
Meanwhile, one of the WTA’s most notorious sister acts made it out of the Spanish capital but landed in Turin — and picked some very exclusive hotel rooms. #keepingupwiththerodios
A couple of players, amongst them Julia Goerges and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, survived the cancellation mayhem and actually made it to Rome, while others like Alla Kudryavtseva and Diego Schwartzman got to…Italy. #notrome
For birthday girl Alla Tomljanovic, it was a day filled with chaotic traveling but at the very least it ended with cake. #cakecakecake
For Kokkinakis and Duckworth, however, things didn’t go as smoothly. Kokkinakis spent the night at a 24-hour McDonald’s inside the Madrid airport and subsequently pulled out of Rome qualifying.
Both players players were forced to enter qualifying for the Bordeaux Challenger instead.
What a mess.
(UPDATE: It seems like Svitolina, at least, is doing just fine.)