Alexander Zverev says Australian Open made ‘mistake’ by giving advantage to top players

Alexander Zverev believes that Australian Open organisers made a mistake in giving top players preferential treatment pre-tournament.

The controversy has dominated tennis news for the last two weeks with opinions from players and the media on both sides adding to the argument.

Initially all Australian Open competitors were meant to complete a 14-day mandatory quarantine period in Melbourne on entering Australia with five hours freedom allowed each day for training and practice.

It was later revealed that a second base was set up in Adelaide, due to a new one-day tennis showcase event, and that a select group of players would serve their quarantine there instead.

These players included the men’s top three in world rankings – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem plus top women’s players Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep and Serena Williams.

Of the players based in Melbourne, it then emerged that 72 would be subject to a hard quarantine due to positive COVID tests on incoming flights, meaning that they would be unable to leave their rooms at all for the full 14 days.

The situation has left many players unhappy with the inequality amongst the competitors. It has been alleged that the Adelaide players not only had more space, but bigger rooms, balconies, more court time and better training facilities.

The under-pressure Australian Open chief Craig Tiley admitted in an interview that ‘the top players get a better deal’.

Now World number seven, Alexander Zverev, has added his voice to the debate and he believes that on the whole Tennis Australia have handled it well apart from one mistake.

“I think maybe the only real mistake that there was was the Adelaide thing for top players” Zverev said.

“Because they did get more practice time, they did get more freedom.

“But other than that, the quarantine and the flights, we have to accept that.

“We have to understand that Australia doesn’t have any COVID cases at all except for us tennis players and we shouldn’t complain too much about the circumstances.”

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