Nadal Addresses Backlash Regarding Covid-19 Restrictions at Australian Open

Players have been forced to quarantine after arriving on flights with positive Covid-19 cases.

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The commencement of the Australian Open is scheduled for 8 February, however, prior to the event, there has been significant controversy arising from the mandate that 72 players undergo a mandatory two-week isolation period.

The players presently under quarantine were passengers on flights with individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19. A number of players find themselves confined to their accommodations in Melbourne, gearing up for the tournament without the opportunity for a proper warm-up. Meanwhile, top seeded players are situated in Adelaide, awaiting the transition to Melbourne for the tournament’s commencement. The situation sparked discontent when photographs surfaced of men’s world no. 1 Novak Djokovic engaging in tennis on his balcony, leading to criticism that higher ranked players were provided superior accommodation compared to lower seeded players.

The controversy escalated when Djokovic submitted a set of recommendations to Craig Tiley, the chief executive of Tennis Australia. The suggestions advocated for a reduction in isolation periods and the relocation of players to “private residences with tennis facilities.” Djokovic’s list incited Australian player Nick Kyrgios to describe Djokovic as “a tool” on social media.

Most recently, Guido Pella, an Argentine player, voiced his support for Djokovic by stating, “At the very least, he spoke up.” Pella remarked, “I am taken aback by the silence exhibited by Nadal and Thiem.”

Responding to the situation, Nadal addressed the matter in an interview with ESPN by saying, “Certain individuals feel the need to publicize every act of goodwill they perform for others. Some of us opt for a more discreet approach without the need for publicity.”

He went on to state, “I have noticed that some individuals who have been vocal in criticizing the conditions in Adelaide have remained silent on the circumstances of the over 20 players who have been unable to practice.”

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