Novak Djokovic's message to Victorian government amid Aus Open turmoil

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Novak Djokovic (pictured) looking at the Australian Open trophy.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) has called for the Australian Open to allow players to train during quarantine if the borders are opened. (Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic has urged the Victorian Government to allow players to compete during their quarantine period as the viability of the Australian Open was called into question.

Tennis Australia, the ATP and WTA had been planning on the proviso that most players would look to arrive in the country in mid-December in order to complete a mandatory two-week quarantine before competing in warm-up events for the first grand slam of 2021 in the first two weeks of January.

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Tournament director Craig Tiley struck an upbeat note earlier this week when he announced that the warm-up events would all be held in Victoria to prevent issues with players travelling between states.

But Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews swiftly responded that it was not "a done deal" and on Tuesday night it was revealed that players are unlikely to be allowed into Australia until the end of December at the earliest.

A two-week quarantine would therefore leave less than a week until the planned start of the Australian Open on January 18.

It had been expected that players would be allowed to train during that fortnight but not compete in tournaments, a stance that Djokovic is hoping will be relaxed.

The reigning champion said: "I'm planning to play Australian Open for sure. I would like to go there and I'm ready to quarantine for two weeks and whatever is necessary for me to be able to play.

"I hope that there is going to be support and understanding from the Victorian and Australian government for the players and for Tennis Australia and that they will allow players to compete in the second week of quarantine.

"Hopefully that's going to help tremendously with the calendar and everything, and you won't be then losing a week.

"You will be able to have at least a tournament or two prior to the Australian Open, which for the majority of the players is important."

Zverev understands Australia’s caution

World No.7 Alexander Zverev said: "If we can't even practice for 14 days and then we have to go out and play the Australian Open, it's a lottery.

"I hope we do find a way to be able to play one or two weeks before the Australian Open but in general I just hope the Australian Open happens because right now everything is so unsure.

"Credit to Tennis Australia and to Craig Tiley, I think they're trying the best they can. I think the Australian government is being very cautious.

"If 3000 people all of a sudden arrive in Australia, there will be cases, there is no about it."

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