SYDNEY (Reuters) – Alexander Zverev has no complaints about being forced into quarantine ahead of the Australian Open but believes allowing top players like Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal more salubrious isolation conditions was a mistake, the German said on Saturday.
A select group of players, also including Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Dominic Thiem, enjoyed stays in higher-end Adelaide hotels for their obligatory 14 days of isolation than the rest of the players sequestered in more modest Melbourne hotels.
Zverev said repeatedly that he thought Tennis Australia had done a great job in difficult circumstances in all but this one regard.
“I think maybe the only real mistake that there was was the the Adeliade thing for top players,” the world number seven 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, who reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park last year, said he did not think the better quarantine conditions would be a factor when the Grand Slam gets underway on Oct. 8.
“It’s tough to beat Novak, Dominic and Rafa anyways so that doesn’t change,” he laughed.
Zverev will get a chance to get some match fitness when he spearheads the German challenge in the ATP Cup, which starts on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old 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.”
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Jane Wardell)