Novak Djokovic posted a long letter on his social media profiles to defend himself from criticism for his requests to the Australian Open director Craig Tiley regarding the quarantine of 72 athletes confined to hotel rooms in Melbourne.
Djokovic had sent a letter to Tennis Australia chief Tiley with a list of inquiries regarding player quarantine conditions including significant restrictions training. The players and their staff were placed in solitary confinement, unable to leave their hotel rooms to train, after several people on three Australian Open charter flights tested positive for Covid-19.
The first Grand Slam of the season should start on February 8th. The Australian Open 2021 bubble is brewing a lot of controversies. As players are currently under quarantine, issues have crept in, causing a small revolt of sorts in the bubble.
To calm things down and ensure that players are fine, World No.1 Novak Djokovic decided to take action, but this invited criticism and scrutiny onto himself. But the Serb now has tennis legend Chris Evert on his side.
Chris Evert defends Novak Djokovic
Chris Evert also said that Novak Djokovic was suggesting the changes and thus shouldn’t be getting the backlash he is receiving right now.
“These were suggestions from Novak, not demands… not worthy of judgement or bashing” Chris Evert tweeted. The media reaction to the letter has been particularly harsh, and it has prompted the Serb to publicly reveal the intentions behind his communication with Craig Tiley.
In his post on Twitter, Djokovic asserted that he was only trying to use his position of privilege to help his fellow colleagues. "My good intentions for my fellow competitors in Melbourne have been misconstrued as being selfish, difficult and ungrateful," Novak Djokovic said.
"This couldn't be farther from the truth. I genuinely care about my fellow players and understand very well how the world is run and who gets bigger and better and why," he added. "I've earned my privileges the hard way.
Hence, I use my position of privilege to be of service as much as I can where and when needed." Djokovic is the World No.1 and also runs his own players’ association. He sees a responsibility in himself to stand up for the players and thus, keeping true to that, wrote to the officials.
He received a varied response to this, so let’s see how the organizers of Aus Open 2021 handle this brittle situation. The Serb also claimed that no player ever questioned the 14-day quarantine that was compulsorily enforced upon everyone landing in Melbourne.
"Not being able to train and compete before the tournament starts is really not easy," Novak Djokovic said. "None of us ever questioned 14-day quarantine despite what is being said by media outlets."