'They allowed Novak Djokovic to have like a satellite hub, where...', says top coach



by   |  VIEW 9155

'They allowed Novak Djokovic to have like a satellite hub, where...', says top coach

The Australian Open will almost certainly play in February: the news that leaks from Oceania is now this. It would be played from 8 to 21 February, a few weeks ahead of the natural location of the last two weeks of January.

The postponement, linked to the health emergency, is due to the fact that the players would arrive in Australia between 15 and 17 January. They will then have to go through 14 days of quarantine but will be able to train. Swabs will be carried out on the first day of quarantine.

Then again on the third, seventh, tenth and last day. Players who are negative on the first day test will be able to train with another player from the second. Those who will be negative even in subsequent tampons will then be able to start training even in small groups.

Restrictions for players also regarding the time they can spend outside their quarters. The postponement of the Australian Open to the month of February, from 8 to 21, requires a reformulation of the entire calendar for the first months of 2021.

For example in the men there are important tournaments such as Rotterdam, Rio De Janeiro, Dubai and Acapulco. In women there are, among all, Doha and Dubai. The postponement of the Australian Open opens two possible weeks to play in January, from the third onwards - with the arrival of the players in Melbourne - it would not be possible to schedule tournaments in other parts of the world.

World number 1 Novak Djokovic had chosen not to stay at the US Open hotel in August, but he may not be allowed that luxury in Melbourne. The Australian Open will reportedly require all players to be under strict quarantine for 2 weeks prior to the event.

Rasheed on Novak Djokovic

"It will be interesting to see what he does because at the US Open, Novak Djokovic got a house," Australian coach Roger Rasheed told Sky Sports Radio. "They allowed him to have like a satellite hub, where he got a house, he had to facilitate it and actually put all the COVID conditions around it.

That was at Novak Djokovic's cost ... yes, he's got the money. A lot of the guys like staying in houses, renting houses and actually having their team there; and [they're] also travelling with big teams. It's going to be a strange vibe," he added.

Health officials in the state of Victoria are going all out to ensure that coronavirus does not re-enter their community, and the Australian Open participants will have to adhere to any rules that are put in place. "They've already been in quarantine hubs before, so it's nothing new to them," Rasheed said.

"For some of them, they'll be thinking, 'Wow, two weeks? That's an extended period.' But they're under our conditions, so they've got to follow protocol if they want to get here and play. Novak Djokovic was, in fact, not the only player to opt for private housing at the US Open.

23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams was another who had rented a private house in New York, as she had lung issues. "I am really grateful that I have an opportunity to stay in the house,'' Novak Djokovic had said at the time of the US Open.

"As soon as there was a chance for us to choose to be in a house, we took it right away without thinking. I'm glad we did. It's not the privilege of the top guys or girls. Anyone that wanted to spend money and stay in the house, he or she could have done that.

… I know there's very few players that have chosen to stay in a house, but it is a personal choice," Novak Djokovic had added.