Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley spoke with disgruntled tennis players and urged not to take it out on Melbourne and the Victoria State. Over 70 players are currently quarantined in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open and a number of players took to social media to complain about the conditions.
"We had 500 players last night on a group chat where anyone could ask questions, complaints," Tiley told reporters, per Wide World of Sports. "We stood as a team and we took them – and there were some big hits that we took.
But there were also some compliments and a scroll of 'thank yous', from all the stars. What really upset me probably last night the most was if you've got a complaint, blame me. "Don't go out on social media and take it out on the staff, Melbourne community or Australia – don't do that.
If you want to have a crack, come to me. Not at someone that's been working around the clock, that hurts. What are you trying to achieve? You're not solving the problem."
Tiley also spoke on Adelaide
While a number of players are quarantined in Melbourne, some of the biggest names of the game such as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are peacefully practicing in Adelaide.
"I get the feeling it is perceived as preferential treatment," Tiley said. "But they're the top players in the world. My general rule is if you're at the top of the game, a Grand Slam champion, it's just the nature of the business.
You are going to get a better deal." When asked why the Australian Open organizers wanted badly to proceed with the event, Tiley said. "We will send a signal to the world that Melbourne is the events capital of the world, the sporting events capital of the world and the signal will be a successful Australian Open and successful events leading in.
There hasn't been a sporting event yet, in the height of the pandemic, that has brought in people and athletes to this extent."