After the German tennis sensation Alexander Zverev, former Grand Slam champion Jim Courier has rallied in support of Novak Djokovic in the controversy over his letter to Tennis Australia.
The World Number 1 wrote to Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley, seeking certain relaxations in strict quarantine rules in place ahead of the Australian Open.
He demanded that fellow competitors, who were under hard lockdown without the option of practice after some crew members in their chartered flights tested positive for COVID-19, be shifted to private houses with tennis courts.
“Misguided”: Jim Courier on outrage over Djokovic’s letter to Tennis Australia
Singing the same tune, Courier said that the collective outrage over Djokovic’s letter to Tennis Australia was “misguided” , adding that it was a “miscarriage of justice”.
Saying that the Serb’s detractors needed to put things into perspective, Courier, now a commentator and a television expert, said, “What’s really important to remember is that Novak didn’t need any of the things he was suggesting.”
The American said that Djokovic had a balcony to himself and even had a practice court for 5 hours of training every day during the 2-week quarantine phase.
Courier said that what the Serb’s critics conveniently overlooked was the fact that he was only trying to help “the people that he’s going to compete against” at the Australian Open.
A letter controversy that blew up in Novak Djokovic’s face
The Serb also sought better food for the 72 players that were subjected to hard quarantine restrictions.
As the matter snowballed into a major controversy, Djokovic issued a statement clarifying that he did not seek the privileges for himself but had only spoken up for his peers.
In a recent interview with Eurosport, Zverev opened up about the issue, revealing that the demands that the Serb had put forward had been discussed during a group call with the players concerned.
He further clarified that the demands were not Djokovic’s own but were raised by the players under lockdown. The German added that his Serb peer was being unfairly portrayed as the “bad boy” in the matter.
With the threat of the Coronavirus still looming large, was the Serb justified in his request for relaxation in the strict quarantine regulations?