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Djokovic says his Australian Open demands have been "misconstrued"

Novak Djokovic claims his attempts to get Australian Open players out of their quarantine hotel h...
Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

15.31 20 Jan 2021


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Djokovic says his Australian O...

Djokovic says his Australian Open demands have been "misconstrued"

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

15.31 20 Jan 2021


Share this article


Novak Djokovic claims his attempts to get Australian Open players out of their quarantine hotel have been "misconstrued". 

The world no.1 was labelled a "tool" by Nick Kyrgios for allegedly presenting Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley with a list of demands.

The Grand Slam is due to get underway on February 8 in Melbourne, with players sequestered in a hotel following their arrival into Australia on chartered flights.

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Ten people associated with the tournament - including four players - have tested positive for COVID-19.

Among Djokovic's reported demands were a reduced isolation period, moving players to private residences with access to tennis courts, and "decent food" befitting elite athletes.

Victoria state premier Dan Andrews said players would not be given special treatment.

In a series of tweets reminiscent of the nWo's WWE debut promo in 2002, Djokovic said he was working with his fellow professionals' interests at heart.

"My good intentions for my fellow competitors in Melbourne have been misconstrued as being selfish, difficult and ungrateful," the Serb said.

"This couldn't be farther from the truth."

Last year, Djokovic organised a mini-tour in the Balkans as the pandemic spread across Europe, and was one of the many players to contract the virus as a result.

He's also been pictured on the players' bus in Melbourne not wearing a mask.

"I genuinely care about my fellow players, Djokovic said, "And I also understand very well how the world is run and who gets bigger and better and why.

"I've earned my privileges the hard way and for that reason, it is very difficult for me to be a mere onlooker knowing how much every help, gesture and good word mattered to me when I was small and insignificant in the world pecking order.

"Hence, I use my position of privilege to be of service as much as I can where and when needed."

He added, "There were a few suggestions and ideas that I gathered from other players from our chat group and there was no harm intended to try and help.

"Things in the media escalated and there was a general impression that the players (including myself) are ungrateful, weak and selfish because of their unpleasant feelings in quarantine," he wrote.

"I am very sorry that is has come to that because I do know how grateful many are."

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Australian Open Craig Tiley Djokovic Melbourne Novak Djokovic Tennis Tennis Australia

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