Djokovic urges government 'support' players over Australian Open preparations

Novak Djokovic is the defending Australian Open champion

Novak Djokovic is the defending Australian Open champion.

With all incomers expected to self-isolate in a hotel for a fortnight after arrival - and the Australian Open due to start on Jan 18 - this could give the players little or no time to prepare for the first grand slam of the year.

"I hope that there's going to be support and understanding from the Australian government for the players and for Tennis Australia and they will allow players to compete in the second week of quarantine and hopefully that's going to help immensely with the calendar and everything and you won't be then losing a week, you'll be able to have a tournament or two prior to the Australian Open which for the majority of the players is important obviously for a lot of the players".

A number of options appear to be on the table, from playing the lead-up tournaments in a US Open-style bubble, scrapping the warm-up events, or delaying the Australian Open.

Asked about the looming Australian Open, defending champion and record-setting eight-time victor Djokovic told reporters following his ATP Finals loss to Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday: "There's several options I hear that are on the table and I think Tennis Australia has been very communicative and very open with the process with us players".

Serbian Djokovic said he would do whatever was required to play at the Australian Open but hoped the government could also be accommodating.

"You can basically flip a coin who wins".

The political leader of Australia's Victorian state said that despite "incredibly complex" negotiations, he is confident that January's Australian Open tennis tournament will proceed.

Rod Laver Arena
Rod Laver Arena

Mr Andrews said he's confident the tennis tournament will proceed - but it remains to be seen how many worldwide stars will compete as confusion reigns over quarantine requirements.

"I think our broadcast revenue will stay whole because we'll be able to broadcast across Australia and around the world".

"If we have to go quarantine for 14 days inside a room and then go play a Grand Slam, I will do it because it's my job and I have to find a way, but I think it's quite unsafe for the players with no preparation I think to go there and compete right away", he said.

Tune-up events before the Australian Open are especially crucial for players since they are the first tournaments of the new season.

'We are working very, very closely with Tennis Australia. Tennis Australia and the Victorian Government are working to the best of their abilities in ensuring another great event.

"We understand there is uncertainty about the start of the 2021 season, and we are working as hard as possible to deliver the best possible calendar of events to players, maximising points, jobs and prize money opportunities". Despite Tennis Australia's optimism, the state government has made it clear that it is "not a done deal".

Asked about these upcoming issues, Zverev replied "If we can't even practice for 14 days and we have to go out to play the Australian Open, it's a lottery".

But an outbreak in South Australia, which neighbours Victoria, triggered a six-day lockdown Wednesday as officials rush to contain a cluster in Adelaide.


Related:

Comments

Latest news

Karachi Kings overcome Lahore Qalandars to win maiden PSL title
Karachi finished at 135 for five wickets in 18.4 overs. "One player should have taken the responsibility. At the same time credit to the Karachi bowlers because they didn't allow our batsmen to dictate terms".

Brexit talks suspended after negotiator tested positive for coronavirus
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized in April and is now back in coronavirus quarantine until next Thursday. Mr Barnier added their teams would continue discussions in "full respect" of safety guidelines.

Charlie Brown Specials to Air on PBS
Halloween fans who feel it's not too late can also watch " It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown " on Apple TV+. It won a Peabody Award and an Emmy award, and spawned dozens of " Peanuts " TV specials, series and movies.

Tory Lanez Pleads Not Guilty to Megan Thee Stallion Shooting
Later on the three-minute track, Meg details the night Tory allegedly shot her following a dispute in their SUV. You can listen to the latest single off of the rapper's debut album, Good News HERE too!

PUBG Mobile India launch: All you need to know
PUBG Corp also says that in the new PUBG Mobile India game, in-game content will be improved and tailored to reflect local needs. PUBG Mobile was among the second wave of China-linked apps that were banned in India due to security concerns.

Other news