Mark Philippoussis thinks Novak Djokovic's preparation for the Australian Open has surely been compromised. After two months of speculating, Djokovic officially announced he would play at Melbourne Park this year. “His (Djokovic’s) preparation for the tournament is surely being compromised," Philippoussis told CODE Sports, as revealed on Sportskeeda.
Most of the players competing at the Australian Open flew to Australia in late December. "Most players like to arrive in Australia two, even three weeks before the Open to acclimatise to the Melbourne summer and courts conditions and really nail their preparation.
We’re well inside that timeline now,” Philippoussis said.
Djokovic announced the news on Tuesday
Djokovic took to Instagram on Tuesday to announce that he was granted a medical exemption for the Australian Open.
"Happy New Year, everybody! Wishing you all health, love, and happiness in every present moment and may you feel love & respect towards all beings on this wonderful planet," Djokovic said in an Instagram post.
"I’ve spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I’m heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let’s go 2022!" Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley defended the decision, saying the Serb was given no special favors.
“If they didn’t meet the guidelines, and there were many that didn’t so therefore they were rejected, but if they met the guidelines including for example – which a lot of people forget – is one of those conditions is having COVID recently, in the past six months,” Tiley said on Nine on Wednesday morning.
“Any person who met those conditions has been allowed to come in. There’s been no special favour. There’s been no special opportunity granted to Novak”. Djokovic is set to play at the Australian Open without any warm up events.
Djokovic has won the tournament's past three editions and he will be aiming to win a record 21st Grand Slam this January.