Australian Open: Alexander Zverev says Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s isolation conditions a mistake

Alexander Zverev says Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s more salubrious isolation conditions in Adelaide was a mistake.

Although the German had no complaints about being forced into quarantine ahead of the Australian Open, he believes allowing a select group of players to enjoy stays in higher-end Adelaide hotels for their obligatory 14 days of isolation was unacceptable.

Zverev, who reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park last year, thought Tennis Australia had done a great job in difficult circumstances.

But he felt unhappy that the likes of Djokovic, Nadal as well as Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Dominic Thiem were controversially allowed to stay in what were seen as more favourable conditions compared to the rest of the players sequestered in more modest Melbourne hotels.

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“I think maybe the only real mistake that there was was the Adelaide thing for top players,” the world No 7 told a news conference at Melbourne Park.

“Because they did get more practice time, they did get more freedom. But other than that, the quarantine and the flights, we have to accept that.

“We have to understand that Australia doesn’t have any COVID cases at all except for us tennis players and we shouldn’t complain too much about the circumstances.”

Zverev will get a chance to get some match fitness when he spearheads the German challenge in the ATP Cup, which starts on Tuesday.

A post shared by Alexander Zverev (@alexzverev123)

He also addressed his recent split with coach David Ferrer, explaining that the Spaniard was not prepared to endure the long periods of quarantine away from his family necessary to travel on the circuit.

“At the time I was very surprised with the decision in a way, but I need to respect the reasons,” said Zverev, who is being coached by his father and brother Mischa.

“I don’t think it makes sense for me to look for anyone new during COVID-19 either. I think we left everything open with David.

“I think with my dad and with my brother more involved now, I have a great coaching team. I think I can win big tournaments with that coaching staff that I have.”

A post shared by Alexander Zverev (@alexzverev123)

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Serena & Novak on their new found freedom

Serena Williams has been quarantining with her husband Alexis Ohanian and three-year-old daughter Olympia, and the family headed straight to the zoo after completing the 14 days.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion said: “We promised her we would take her to the zoo to see koalas and kangaroos.

“I’m so glad the quarantine is over because to be in a room with a three-year-old and being her best friend is definitely difficult, especially after training and working out. But it was fun. Honestly, I wouldn’t trade anything for spending hours with her.”

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