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Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley has defended the World 1 player Novak Djokovic for writing a quarantine wish list for hard blocking players, claiming they weren’t “demands”, just “suggestions”.

Djokovic wrote to the head of the Australian Open with a number of ‘suggestions’ on behalf of the players, including permission to visit a coach or coach and to transfer as many players as possible to private residents with tennis courts.

The suggestions were quickly rejected yesterday by Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews, who said firmly: “the answer is no.”

Mr. Tiley told Today that he had a phone call with about 500 players last night and that “the vast majority are happy to be here.”

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley cleared the air with 500 players on the phone last night. (Nine)

“In the case of Novak, he wrote a note, these were not demands, they were suggestions, but he is understanding what two weeks of lockdown means,” he said.

“I think the reports that we are seeing and the things that we are seeing do not represent the entire playing group. For the most part, they have been really good.”

Tiley said players were getting used to the confinement, although the experience was difficult.

“These are high performance athletes and it is difficult to keep a high performance athlete in a room,” Tiley said.

Novak Djokovic greets you upon your arrival at Adelaide airport. (Getty)

“This is the contribution they have to make in order to have the privilege of going out to compete for $ 80 million in prizes.

“We will go around the corner with those few who don’t have the right approach to this.”

More than 1,200 tests have been carried out in the last five days, on 17 charter flights.

Mr. Tiley said the number of positive cases had been “low” with the quarantine program working effectively despite a frustrated few in the group.

“There would be an expectation of having several positive cases,” he said.

Tennis player Chan Hao-ching (also known as Angel Chan) clears her hotel quarantine at the View hotel ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne. (Photograph by Chris Hopkins)

“But now we are in a position where they are locked in, designed to protect the community.”

The tennis chief admitted that the hard blocking for some players meant it was “not a level playing field” in terms of preparation, but the intervening week would allow them to make up for lost time.

“We are going to do our part to try to match him as much as possible,” he said.

“But all the players who came down knew that if they were going to be a close contact or they were going to test positive, these would be the conditions.”


www.9news.com.au

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