Did Rafael Nadal Make A Dig At Djokovic Over Quarantine Fairness Debate? - UBITENNIS
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Did Rafael Nadal Make A Dig At Djokovic Over Quarantine Fairness Debate?

The king of clay has broken his silence over the quarantine conditions in Australia for players.

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20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has said there is a high level of support for players in Melbourne currently in strict quarantine but doesn’t feel the need to make that support public.

 

The world No.2 is currently based in Adelaide along with the top three ranked players on the ATP and WTA Tour’s, as well as their teams. Under a deal struck by Tennis Australia, Nadal and Co has been allowed to stay in the region in order to help ease the inflow of players into Melbourne where most are staying. Although some have accused the governing body of giving preferential treatment to the big names. Craig Tiley, who is in charge of the Australian Open, has previously said that those in Adelaide have got the ‘better deal.’

Speaking about the current situation for the first time to ESPN Argentina, the former world No.1 has pledged his backing to ensuring that the quarantine conditions are made as fair as possible for everyone. The Spaniard has previously been criticised by Guido Pella for his silence on the matter.

“Some need to make public everything they do to help others,” Nadal told ESPN. “Others do it in a more private way without having to publish or advertise everything we’re doing.
“The calls we make to help the most disadvantaged players, some of us don’t need to want to advertise on it.”

Nadal’s comment has led to speculation that it is a swipe at rival Novak Djokovic over his letter concerning the quarantine conditions. Earlier this month the world No.1 sent a list to Tiley outlining a series of ‘suggestions’ to improve conditions for those in strict quarantine. Including the use of more testing to reduce the length of time they have to isolate. The letter, which was leaked to the public, prompted backlash from locals and officials in Australia.

Amid the fallout from his letter and subsequent criticism, Djokovic later issued a statement clarifying his intentions. Furthermore, Tiley has also played down the letter which was sent to him.

“My good intentions for my fellow competitors in Melbourne have been misconstrued as being selfish, difficult and ungrateful,” Djokovic said in a statement. “This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
“I genuinely care about my fellow players and I also understand very well how the world is run and who gets bigger and better and why…Not every act is taken at its face value and at times when I see the aftermath of things, I do tend to ask myself if I should just sit back and enjoy my benefits instead of paying attention to other people’s struggles.”

Speaking about allegations of preferential treatment in Adelaide, Nadal believes it is more complex with everybody having their own view on what is fair and what isn’t. For him, he admits that Adelaide has ‘better conditions’ but those in Melbourne also have their advantages in his opinion.

“Complaints are understandable and totally respectable. Where is the privilege line or not privileges if it is already a little different,” Nadal said. “And I have a different vision than other tennis players. In Adelaide, conditions have been better than most players in Melbourne. But there are players in Melbourne who have larger rooms where they can develop physical activities, others have smaller rooms and can’t have contact with their coach and their physical trainer.
“Where’s the line? It’s an ethical issue. Everyone has their own opinion and they are all respectable.”

In a bid to relieve the fallout, Nadal has urged his peers to look at the bigger picture and work together in order to make the most out of the quarantine conditions. Through he admits that the process has been far from perfect.

“At the time of talking about fair play or equal conditions, people don’t tend to complain about the position of those who are worse off than them. In the end we all try to get the most out of our possibilities and help each other.” He concluded.

Nadal will play Dominic Thiem at the ‘Day at the Drive’ exhibition in Adelaide on Friday before flying to Melbourne. Next week he will lead Spain in the ATP Cup which starts on February 2nd.

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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