With tennis players in quarantine ahead of the upcoming Australian Open, Novak Djokovic submitted a list of demands to local government officials seeking more relaxed rules for those affected.
Djokovic had a pretty rocky 2020, even on the 2020 scale. After starting up his own Adriatic Tour in defiance of COVID-19 rules and regulations that led to players (including himself) testing positive, Djokovic then ended up disqualified from the U.S. Open after hitting a ball at a judge. (He also hinted at a distrust of vaccines. Good stuff all around.)
Now, in Australia for the mandated 14-day quarantine, Djokovic submitted a list of demands to Victorian officials asking for various allowances.
— Fernando Murciego (@fermurciego) January 17, 2021
Djokovic is presumably speaking for more than just himself, here, and it might seem that the #1 men’s player in the world would be an ideal person to convey the message. Unfortunately, given his conduct throughout the year, it’s hard to take his judgment seriously when it comes to determining which COVID restrictions could be relaxed.
Proposals reportedly made by Novak Djokovic to #ausopen boss Craig Tiley for players, in particular those in isolation.
Points 3 to 6 have zero chance of happening. Absolutely none.
And, it’s fair to say Djokovic’s opinion on Covid-19 protocols count for zilch. https://t.co/2ICl9HTuJY
— Shane McInnes (@shanemcinnes) January 17, 2021
The demands did elicit a response from Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, though it probably wasn’t what the players wanted to hear:
"There's no special treatment here… because the virus doesn't treat you specially" — @DanielAndrewsMP addresses tennis players who are complaining about COVID-19 quarantine ahead of the Australian Open. pic.twitter.com/eyciPO7On8
— Wade Shipard (@wadeshipard) January 17, 2021
"The notion that people weren't briefed, I think that argument really has no integrity whatsoever and don't just take my word for it. You've got other players, who I think on social media and in other forums have made it clear that they were clear on the rules," the premier says.
— Benita Kolovos 🐯 (@benitakolovos) January 17, 2021
This is understandable from the Australian point of view. Rules are rules, and while having an Australian Open (set to begin February 8th) is probably what everyone wants, it’s not worth risking an undoing of their own coronavirus protections. Plus, athletes aren’t above the law, and a large group of international arrivals is a perfect recipe for undetected virus entry. Given the risks of testing inaccuracy and just the nature of the virus itself, the full quarantine is probably the best measure until vaccination becomes more widely available and utilized.
Though based on his statements, even that wouldn’t be much help for Djokovic.