Novak Djokovic defended over Australian Open intentions following quarantine row

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Alex Corretja has jumped to the defence of Novak Djokovic in the wake of the Australian Open quarantine row. The world No 1 was portrayed in a negative light ahead of the tournament following his letter to Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley, in which he allegedly asked for reduced periods of isolation.

Three positive cases were detected on separate charter flights upon arrival Down Under that were carrying players and staff.

As a result, as many as 72 players were forced into immediate isolation in their hotel rooms for 14 days.

Most were also unable to train during this stretch of time, something that Djokovic challenged.

The Serbian recommended that players could be moved to “private houses with tennis courts” in order to maintain some rhythm heading into the competition.

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His comments faced an immediate backlash as Tiley refused to budge.

Djokovic has since clarified his comments, stating that his intentions had been misconstrued.

“My good intentions for my fellow competitors in Melbourne have been misconstrued as being selfish, difficult and ungrateful,” Djokovic said.

“This couldn’t be farther from the truth. At times when I see the aftermath of things, I do tend to ask myself if I should just sit back and enjoy my benefits instead of paying attention to other people’s struggles.”

Now former world No 2 Corretja has fought Djokovic’s corner, claiming the criticism he received was not justified given that he had his colleagues’ best interests at heart.

“When you try to help somebody, you can never be criticised,” Corretja told Eurosport.

“I think we all understand that the players need to get through quarantine for sure.

“No one complains about that, they were trying to say, well especially Novak ‘okay, let’s try to see if we can have similar conditions because we knew that some players have different rules’.

“So how can you criticise that? I think that’s very unfair for Novak.

“At the end of the day, you are trying to find solutions for everyone.

“While you can try and find solutions for everyone, you can say ‘well listen, I’m in Adelaide, I don’t need to complain. I don’t need to worry about the others’.

“So I don’t think it’s fair, I have to say.”

Djokovic was back in action today at the Rod Laver Arena as his title defence got off to the best possible start as he beat Jeremy Chardy in straight sets.

After the win, Djokovic claimed he had no intention of talking about Nick Kyrgios, following new comments from the Aussie who also hit out at the infamous letter.

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