Boris Becker Slams Australian Open 2021 Organisers, Says Their Conditions Are Not Fair

Published 01/22/2021, 5:03 AM EST
A general view of Melbourne Park during day five of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)


The Australian Open 2021 is receiving a lot of bad press on account of its quarantine conditions. Recently, the retired German legend Boris Becker questioned the fairness and reasonability of the ‘Happy Slam’ organizers.

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Firstly, the decision to have separate two bubbles, for elite players and others, didn’t sit well with everyone. Then a lockdown on players whose planes had COVID positive cases caused a lot of displeasure.

Presently, 72 players are locked in their hotel rooms and will not train until one week before the main event. According to the 6-time Grand Slam champion Becker, it is not an ideal situation for them.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 19: A ballboy on the court during a match between Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands and Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during day four of the 2012 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 19, 2012, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images)

Furthermore, the former World No. 1 also talked about the difficulties the locked players will face ahead. They will not be as ready as the others are in time for the Grand Slam tournament.

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Boris Becker asks the Australian Open 2021 organizers to be reasonable

Many players are posting about their training routines inside their rooms; however, they won’t see a tennis court very soon. Moreover, they cannot even open the doors of their rooms, unless it is to pick up food.

“When they come out of quarantine, they haven’t even been out in the fresh air, haven’t played tennis,” Becker said“No matter how many steps they’ve taken in the room, they haven’t played ball,” he added. “And then they have a week to prepare for best-of-five (set) matches, at least for the men, in the hot conditions.”

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates at the trophy presentation ceremony after winning the men’s singles final match against Dominic Thiem of Austria on day fourteen of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

Compared to players who practice for five hours outside the room every day, the locked players are in a disadvantageous spot. Boris explained that their pre-season hard work has also gone in vain. The German legend continued, “That task doesn’t really work. All the winter preparation was for naught. You have to ask yourself whether these are fair conditions for everyone.”

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The situation is not the same for every player in the Australian Open bubbles. But given the strict mandate to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the organizers are out of options.

Boris concluded, “As an organiser, you have to ask yourself: is this right, is this reasonable?” While it may not be, the players are cooperating well and looking forward to battle for the title.

The Australian Open will begin on February 8, but before that, there are many events for players to get themselves ready. Hopefully, things will run smoother once the tournaments start. What are your predictions for this year’s AO title?

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Purav Joshi

694 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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