Novak Djokovic tried to clarify his stern letter to Australian Open tournament director Craig Tealey in a post on social media Tuesday, insisting his “good intentions” were misunderstood.
After positive tests for COVID-19 on three charter flights to Melbourne, 72 players are currently in a severe quarantine period, leading to 14 days of self-isolation in their hotel rooms. Djokovic had suggested easing quarantine restrictions in his initial comments to Tilly and was immediately criticized for the lack of awareness by many in Australia, including Nick Kyrgios and Sam Groth.
Djokovic reportedly requested a shortened period of isolation and opportunities for private accommodation with tennis courts for those affected.
“My good intentions for my fellow racers in Melbourne were misunderstood as selfish, difficult and ungrateful,”
“Not every act is taken at face value, and sometimes when I see the consequences, I tend to wonder if I should just relax and enjoy my strengths instead of paying attention to other people’s struggles. But always. always choose to do something and be of service despite the provocative consequences and misunderstandings. “
Djokovic, who is currently in quieter quarantine in Adelaide ahead of an exhibition leading up to the Australian Open, said his suggestions were gathered from a group chat with other players and he knew it was unlikely any of them would be provided. He then apologized for how his comments were received.
“Things in the media escalated and there was a general impression that the players (including me) were ungrateful, weak and selfish because of their unpleasant feelings in quarantine,” he wrote. “I am very sorry that this has happened, because I know how grateful many are. We all came to Australia to compete.
“Not being able to train and prepare before the start of the tournament is really not easy. None of us has ever questioned the 14-day quarantine, despite what the media has said.”
Djokovic is the last player, along with Roberto Bautista Agut and Alize Cornet, to apologize for quarantine comments that were perceived as insensitive.
He was also under heavy scrutiny over the summer due to his ill-fated Adria Tour, which failed to follow accepted COVID-19 protocols and saw that many of its players, including Djokovic, were positive for the coronavirus.
The Australian Open is expected to start on February 8, three weeks postponed from the typical start date.