French tennis player Jeremy Chardy has accused Tennis Australia of favouritism after it emerged that some of the top stars of the game will be quarantined in Adelaide, rather than Melbourne, ahead of the Australian Open.
More than 1000 people, from more than 100 countries are set to arrive in Australia for the first major of the season. As Melbourne was past its capacity, Tennis Australia asked South Australian government to host 50-odd people, including players and their entourages.
As a goodwill gesture, they have also granted Adelaide an exhibition event featuring some of the most popular tennis players in the world like Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep.
Chardy has slammed Tennis Australia for favouring the elite players, saying the exclusive exhibition came “a bit out of the blue” and was “weird, to put it mildly”.
“They will even be able to benefit from a gym at the hotel and will be able to do their exercises, which will not count towards the five-hour quota,” Chardy, ranked 72 in the world, told L’Equipe.
“Everyone can go out. They will almost be able to live normally.
“Already they have a lot of privileges. If they can do everything more than you; it will not be the same preparation.
“And that’s weird for a sport where we’re all supposed to be on the same footing. If I was No.4 in the world, I would be distraught.”
However, Australian Open tournament director Tiley told Tennis Channel that quarantine conditions would be the same in Adelaide as Melbourne. They are yet to negotiate details with SA Health and it is not yet clear whether the select player will be able to use the gym outside of their allocated hours.
“They’ll be in a different hotel – obviously a smaller cohort – and travel directly to Adelaide, so there will be some benefit because of that,” Tiley said.
“But outside of that, the conditions of training will be the same. I know there’s a fair bit that’s been written on social media, which is not completely accurate about what would be experienced in Adelaide.”