Recently, Novak Djokovic received criticism from fellow players after he gave a list of demands to Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia. In a letter, Djokovic wrote about the difficulties faced by the players under the strict quarantine protocols ahead of the 2021 Australian Open. The Serbian reportedly demanded reduced isolation periods for players and moving as many players as possible to private residences with tennis courts.
However, Tiley has defended the 17-time Grand Slam champion, claiming the letter written by Djokovic was just a list of suggestions instead of demands. However, Djokovic’s suggestions were immediately rejected by the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who talked about giving no preferential treatment to any player.
“In the case of Novak, he wrote a note, these weren’t demands, they were suggestions, but he is understanding what two weeks of lockdown means,” Tiley said.
The CEO of Tennis Australian acknowledged that the quarantine protocols have been hard on the players, but most athletes are coping well with the conditions. However, over the last couple of days, players have complained about the poor quality of food.
“I think the reports we’re seeing and things we are seeing doesn’t represent the entire playing group. For the most part, they have been really good,” remarked Tiley.
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.
The World No. 1 will lead Team-Serbia at the 2021 ATP Cup, which starts a week before the Australian Open. At the inaugural ATP Cup last year, Djokovic defeated arch-rival, Rafael Nadal, in the final to win the title for Serbia. Subsequently, he defeated Dominic Thiem in an epic five-set thriller at the 2020 Australian Open final to clinch a record 8th title at Melbourne Park.