'Please explain': Tennis world stunned by 'surreal' Aussie crowd images

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
Novak Djokovic (pictured) warming up in front of a full crowd ahead of an exhibition match in Adelaide.
Fans around the world were stunned to see a full crowd in attendance with no masks for Novak Djokovic's (pictured) exhibition match in Adelaide, ahead of the Australian Open. (Image: AAP)

The tennis world has reacted with disbelief after watching Australians without masks pack a stadium for the first tennis tournament of the year due to the nation’s strong Covid response.

World No.1 Novak Djokovic caused a stir ahead of the ‘Memorial Drive’ exhibition when he withdrew from his match 30 minutes prior, only to take part.

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Seeing Djokovic in action in 2021 delighted tennis diehards, but it was another image that had fans around the world in awe.

Adelaide locals packed out the stadium ahead of the exhibition and due to Australia’s remarkably low Covid-19 numbers South Australians are not required to wear masks.

This is an unusual sight for tennis fans around the world during the Covid-19 global pandemic, considering the US Open and French Open were played in front of minimal to no fans.

Furthermore, players are not required to wear masks before and after the match because of the 14 days quarantine required upon entering Australia.

This had fans around the world stunned and ‘jealous’ at the once normal way-of-life.

Former World No.1 Maria Sharapova led the applause for the tennis to be back.

Following Serena Williams’ match with Naomi Osaka, the 23-time Grand Slam champ said she was so exicted to play in front of a crowd.

"We haven't played in front of a crowd in over a year,” she said speaking with Osaka.

“This is really cool, thanks so much for having us and trusting us with your laws, we are just so happy to be here and it’s worth it.”

Djokovic causes confusion ahead of exhibition

World No.1 Djokovic dropped a bombshell on Tennis Australia organisers after withdrawing from his exhibition match only hours after leaving quarantine, only to stun fans and reverse his decision.

Only hours after being released from 14 days in quarantine, Djokovic dropped caused a stir on the event organisers and withdrew from his clash citing blisters on his right hand.

Filip Krajinovic initially replaced him against young Italian Jannick Sinner.

World No.1 Novak Djokovic hits a return against Jannik Sinner during the 'A Day at the Drive' exhibition match in Adelaide on January 29, 2021. (Photo by Michael Errey / AFP)
World No.1 Novak Djokovic hits a return against Jannik Sinner during the 'A Day at the Drive' exhibition match in Adelaide on January 29, 2021. (Photo by Michael Errey / AFP)

While the announcement Djokovic’s late withdrawal shocked fans on social media there was another twist.

Despite visible blisters on his right hand, Djokovic took to court to play a few games and help Krajinovic defeat Sinner in the exhibition clash.

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