Australian Open crowds at 10 per cent capacity would be a boon, says Novak Djokovic

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Nov 21, 2020, 05.20 PM(IST)

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates match point against Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain. Photograph:( AFP )

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Defending champion and world no. one Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open for a record eight times.

Serbian ace Novak Djokovic is hopeful that fans will be allowed to enter the arenas for next year's Australia Open that is scheduled to be held in January. Spectators are still barred from most stadiums amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Majority of tennis events, held after COVID-19 stoppage, have been played in empty stadiums, with a select few allowing fans in few numbers to attend with social distancing protocols in place to curb the spread of the virus.

"If Australia happens, I'm hearing that we are going to have at least 50 per cent of the capacity of the stadium. That's a lot, I think even 10 per cent would be huge for us at this stage," Djokovic said after moving into the semis of the ATP Finals in London.

"Just hearing the applause and hearing the fans and sensing their energy and their emotion and their kind of excitement for being there and cheering you on on the court, that's something that I think we're all missing."

Defending champion and world no. one Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open for a record eight times. He said he hoped the feeling of "walking into an empty stadium" would be temporary but was glad they were able to resume the season this year despite the pandemic.

"Strange is probably the right word to describe the season, but nevertheless I still feel like we played a lot of tournaments considering we had a six-months gap in the middle of the season," he added.

"We still managed to play three out of four Grand Slams and the ATP Finals and some big Masters 1000 events like Cincinnati and Rome."

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