Tennis ace Novak Djokovic has stated that the majority of tennis players do not want the season to continue if quarantine is required.
In the first Grand Slam of the year, 72 players were forced into a strict quarantine period, inside of hotel rooms, before the Australian Open in Melbourne, calling into question the welfare of players participating in tennis tournaments.
As a result of the disrupted preparation, Djokovic has become one of several players who have complained of incurring injuries, of which the Serbian's is an abdomen injury, leading to many withdrawals from the Open.
Travel restorations have been imposed across Europe and the US, which is directly impacting athletes from many sports in being able to properly prepare and Djokovic has called for clarity on how the Association of Tennis Professionals' (ATP) schedule will look with regards to player care.
"We’ve to be honest and realistic that it has an effect on the physical well-being of players," started Djokovic. "Of course also mental, emotional, but physically, this isn’t normal.
"We’re hoping that it’s temporary. But the majority of the players just don’t want to go ahead with the season if we’re going to have to quarantine most of the tournaments.
"I’m waiting for some answers. I want to understand how our continuation of the season post-Australia is going to look, because this definitely isn’t good for players in terms of their well-being. For the lower-ranked players, I’ve heard a lot of complaints."
Suggestions have been made about a National Basketball Association (NBA) style Finals bubble, that saw the remainder of last season played inside Orlando, in one location.
"I heard some players talk about that, and I don’t mind to discuss that idea," said Djokovic on the proposal. "Select one place and we play all the tournaments on that surface and that place.
"You know three/four weeks in, maybe two/three weeks’ rest, then back again. But we just have to discuss options because I don’t know honestly if this is going to work.
"We also have to be realistic that what we are experiencing here in Australia is far better than what most of Europe is going through in terms of restrictions, rules, regulations and quarantines.
"I’ve been hearing that there are some countries that don’t want to accept people coming in from some specific countries because of the different virus strains, transmission, and God knows what.
"I don’t know how we’re going to handle that. But we’ve to address this very quickly because the season has already started."
Author: Jake Wilkin