Sydney, Australia, Jan 18 (efe-epa).- Authorities Monday denied tennis world No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s alleged requests to relax quarantine measures for tennis players participating in the Australian Open, which will begin next month.
“People are free to provide lists of demands, but the answer is no,” Victoria’s head of government Daniel Andrews said in a news conference in Melbourne, adding that sanitary measures at the Australian Open “were clearly put.”
The 33-year-old Serbian, who along with other elite players such as Rafa Nadal, is in confinement in Adelaide, allegedly sent Craig Tiley, Tennis Australia CEO, a letter with six points to improve players’ conditions, as Spanish tennis website Punto de Break reported Sunday.
Djokovic reportedly requested that players be transferred to private homes with tennis courts to train, authorized to meet coaches or physical trainers if they have passed COVID-19 tests and reduced isolation days in exchange for more tests, among other demands.
“There’s no special treatment here,” Andrews said when asked about the request.
Victoria, epicenter of the second wave of COVID-19 in Australia after travelers in Melbourne hotels flouted quarantine measures, reported Monday its 12th day without local infections, although four cases among international travelers are tied to the Australian Open.
Seventy-two players have been confined to their hotel rooms in Melbourne, without being allowed out during the agreed five hours to train, for traveling in three charter planes with five cases of COVID-19, causing discontent among several of them.
One of the complaints that went viral was that of Kazakh player Yulia Putintseva, who published a Saturday night video of a mouse inside the room where she is undergoing quarantine, as well as one of her training in the small space. Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas put up images of him “surfing” on his mattress.
Authorities are expecting the tournament to run as planned from Feb. 8 to Feb. 21 in Melbourne. EFE-EPA