'Majority don't want to go ahead with the season if we have to quarantine before most of tournaments': Novak Djokovic

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 17, 2021, 11:17 AM(IST)

Novak Djokovic lashes out at critics over Australian Open quarantine stance Photograph:( AFP )

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According to the world number one, a spate of injuries amongst top players could be down to the strange preparations.

Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic on Tuesday claimed that most players on the ATP Tour "don't want" the season to continue if the strict quarantines are required before tournaments as it's not something they are used to. 

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While talking to reporters after defeating Zverev in the quarter-finals of Australian Open, Djokovic said: "What we are seeing is not normal. It's not something we are used to. Top players are the ones that are fittest. It has been proven in the past that that's the case," Djokovic, who has been playing with an abdominal injury suffered in his third-round match against Taylor Fritz, told reporters.

According to the world number one, a spate of injuries amongst top players could be down to the strange preparations.

"Now you have (Matteo) Berrettini, even Rafa (Nadal) coming in with a back injury, myself, Sascha (Zverev), as well, struggled, (Grigor) Dimitrov. I mean, obviously it has something to do with these kind of circumstances that we were in.

"We are hoping that it's temporary. But talking to a lot of players, the majority don't want to go ahead with the season if we have to quarantine before most of the tournaments."

Tennis players have been following strict guidelines since last year's French Open, and US Open. The Serbian, who formed the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) last year, said the Player Council, which he is no longer a part of, wanted answers from the ATP.

"I spoke to some of the council members, and they are saying they have extensive discussions about that with ATP management," he said. "I'm waiting for answers. I want to understand how our continuation of the season post-Australia is going to look because is definitely not good for players wellbeing."

The 17-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic talked about a permanent solution to this issue and suggested to select one place where all the tournaments are held. 

"We have to find away, whether it's something like an NBA bubble, because I heard some players talk about that, and I don't mind to discuss about that kind of idea," he said.

"Select one place and we play all the tournaments on that surface and that place. Three, four weeks in, rest, then back again. Something like that."

Djokovic's opponent Zverev also supported the Serbian as he said: "We can't have a travelling circuit right now."

"What the ATP should do is, maybe having a venue like here and play multiple weeks at one place. At the end of the day in Europe right now we can't have spectators, so what difference does it really make where we play the tournament?"

(Inputs from Reuters)

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