Argentinian tennis player Guido Pella has praised Novak Djokovic for trying to speak up for the players in hard quarantine while questioning Rafa Nadal’s silence.
Pella is one of the unfortunate 72 players who found themselves on a chartered flight that returned a positive COVID test on entering Australia.
He is currently unable to leave his Melbourne hotel room for 14 days with no fresh air, no fitness training and most importantly no access to practice courts ahead of the Australian Open.
Meanwhile all other competitors in Melbourne are getting five hours training time each day on court and at the gym.
A separate contingent of top players including Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal are based in Adelaide with arguably more favourable living and playing conditions.
A media storm erupted last week when Djokovic tried to offer suggestions to improve conditions for the quarantined players which was misinterpreted as a set of demands.
But despite the Australian authorities refusing to move on the strict rules imposed, Pella, who is currently 44 in the World rankings, says he at least appreciates Djokovic’s intentions.
“Djokovic at least gets involved,” Pella said. “He may make mistakes but at least he speaks up. I can’t vouch for anyone but at least he shows intention.” Pella told podcast 3Iguales from Melbourne.
“But I find the silence of Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal stranger. Novak, at least, showed good intentions.
When asked about the alleged preferential treatment being given to the top players, Pella revealed: “These are two completely different realities. I’ve seen pictures and the balcony at Novak Djokovic is bigger than my room.”
“I don’t mind the preferential treatment but at least say it from the start and give people the option to see if they can stand it,” added the Argentine who is due to play alongside fellow countryman Diego Schwartzman in the ATP Cup starting next week.
“This Adelaide thing started less than a month ago and they put it out little by little so no one had time to react.
“It is clear that they only want to know about the top players,” he said
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?