Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley received a letter from world number 1 Novak Djokovic in recent days, in which he was basically requested - on behalf of the players present in Melbourne - to relax the restrictions during the quarantine period.
Some of the proposals included making fitness equipment available in the athletes' rooms, providing better food, and relocating tennis players to private accommodation with attached courts. We recall that 72 players were placed in isolation after the positive results emerged on some direct flights to Melbourne.
The Serb's wish list was promptly rejected by both Daniel Andrews, the Premier of Victoria, and Emma Cassar, who is in charge of health protocols for the State of Victoria. As if that weren't enough, the 17-time Grand Slam champion has also received heavy criticism on social media for not fully understanding the situation that the Australian people have been experiencing for months.
Interviewed by 9News, Tennis Australia number 1 Craig Tiley defended Djokovic with a sword.
Tiley on Novak Djokovic's letter
"In the case of Novak Djokovic, he wrote a note, these weren't demands, they were suggestions, but he is understanding what two weeks of lockdown means," Craig Tiley told the media on Tuesday.
The World No. 1 is expected to compete in the ATP Cup for Serbia in the first week of February, followed by the Australian Open. While Djokovic has not made any official comment on the letter or the Melbourne quarantine, Craig Tiley asserted that the impacted players had become more accepting of the lockdown regulations.
"I think the reports we're seeing and things we are seeing doesn't represent the entire playing group," Tiley added. "For the most part, they have been really good. These are high performing athletes and it is hard to keep a high performing athlete in a room."
However, he assured everyone that his team would try their best to balance things out as far as possible. "We're going to play our part to try to even it up as much as possible," Tiley said. "But every player coming down knew that if they were going to be a close contact or were going to test positive, these were going to be the conditions."
Over the last couple of months, Djokovic has been in some controversy or the other. Last year, Djokovic resigned from his post at the ATP Players’ Council to form his own players’ association, a move that received widespread criticism from top players.