Former Grand Slam Champion Boris Becker has been questioning the fairness of this year’s Australian Open and asking whether the conditions are acceptable.
The German, who won the Australian Open twice in his career, has been concerned not only about the welfare and safety of the players themselves, but the overall equality amongst all competitors.
All players were told they would have to quarantine for 14 days on entry to Australia, but that they would have access to practice courts and training facilities for five hours each day.
However as specially chartered flights started arriving, a handful of positive COVID tests emerged, which meant all passengers were told they would have to enter a hard quarantine instead.
Over 70 players have been unable to leave their rooms at all for 14 days, while the remainder of the players have the advantage of daily court practice, gym use and access to their coaches.
Becker, who was speaking to Eurosport Germany, thinks the Australian Open organisers need to ask themselves some serious questions.
“There are 70 players affected, out of a field of 128 players. A third is certainly in adverse conditions in Australia.
“When they come out of quarantine, they haven’t even been out in the fresh air, haven’t played tennis.
“No matter how many steps they’ve taken in the room, they haven’t played ball, and then they have a week to prepare for best-of-five matches, at least for the men, in the hot conditions.
“That task doesn’t really work. All the winter preparation was for naught.
“You have to ask yourself whether these are fair conditions for everyone. As an organizer, you have to ask yourself: is this right, is this reasonable?”
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