World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has issued a statement, clarifying himself following reports emerged that he had written a letter to Australian Open organisers urging them to ease the quarantine measures for players. Over 70 players were ordered a 14-day quarantine and Djokovic, who is able to train in Adelaide, stepped up as he wanted to help fellow competitors.
"Australia, in light of recent media and social media criticism for my letter to Craig Tiley, (Tournament Director of Australian Open), I would like to clarify a few things," Djokovic started his statement. "My good intentions for my fellow competitors in Melbourne have been misconstrued as being selfish, difficult, and ungrateful.
This could not be farther from the truth. "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.
However, I always choose to do something and be of service despite the challenging consequences and misunderstandings. "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.
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 my position of privilege to be of service as much as I can where and when needed. "I have always had a very good relationship with Craig, and I respect and appreciate all the effort he puts into making the Australian Open a place to look forward to coming back to each year.
In our email exchange, I used an opportunity to brainstorm about potential improvements that could be made to the quarantine of players in Melbourne that were in full lockdown."
Three more people linked to the Australian Open have tested positive for COVID-19 in Melbourne, on Tuesday, increasing to 10 those associated with the Grand Slam tennis tournament which begins Feb. 8.
A total of 72 players remain in hard lockdown after being deemed close contacts of those positives on three charter flights into Melbourne from Abu Dhabi, Doha and Los Angeles.