Spaniard Rafael Nadal has taken a dig at Novak Djokovic, without naming names, by claiming the World No 1 likes to publicise everything he does to help players.
This comes just a week after the reigning Australian Open champion wrote an open letter to Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley with a list of “suggestions” to help improve the quarantine conditions of players in the bubble.
From the 15 chartered flights that transported players to Melbourne, three had passengers test positive for the virus upon arrival. As a result, the 72 players on those flights were forced to enter a strict 14-day quarantine. This meant that they were not allowed the provision of spending five hours a day outside their hotel rooms to train and practice.
Along with players complaining that they weren’t informed about the possibility of the hard lockdown, there were complaints regarding the quality of food being provided.
This prompted Djokovic to pen a controversial list of suggestions, which the Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews immediately shot down. Djokovic then issued a statement claiming his thoughts were ‘misconstrued.’
Nonetheless, a few players were annoyed that likes of Nadal and World No 3 Dominic Thiem, all of whom are quarantining in seemingly better conditions in Adelaide, were silent about the entire issue.
“Djokovic’s balcony is bigger than my room. But at least he said something,” Argentina’s Guido Pella said in a podcast.
“I’m surprised with Nadal and Thiem’s silence”.
Nadal opens up
Speaking to ESPN from his hotel room on Monday however, World No 2 Nadal opened up.
“We all try to help each other. Some need to make public all they do to try to help others, while some of us do it privately without publishing our calls or making propaganda with it,” the 20-time Grand Slam champion said, taking a swipe at Djokovic.
“Here in Adelaide our conditions have been better than most of the conditions in Melbourne, but some Melbourne players have larger rooms where they can perform physical activities, others smaller rooms where they cannot have contact with their coach or physical trainer. Where is the line?”
Nadal further claimed that players in Melbourne with suites were not noticing that there are other players with lesser facilities made available to them.
“I have not heard any Melbourne players complain that they have a better room or about those who have been confined without being able to train.
“I have not seen those who complain so much about our conditions in Adelaide say, ‘Why are there not equal conditions, now we will all go without training’. You always look up, always complain about a disadvantageous position.”
The quarantine period is expected to end on January 29, followed by the first set of tune-up events starting on February 1.