COVID-19 continues to complicate the Australian Open tennis tournament: in addition to the case of the Serbian Novak Djokovic, who continues to be investigated, the local player Bernard Tomic accused the tournament of being too lax in its control of the virus.
During the match, Tomic told the chair umpire, Brazilian Aline Da Rocha Nocinto, that he was physically hampered.
“For sure in the next two days I will test positive, I’m telling you. I’m telling you. I will buy you dinner if I don’t test positive in three days. Otherwise you buy me dinner”.
“I cannot believe nobody is getting tested. They are allowing players to come onto the court with rapid tests in their room - c’mon. No official PCR testing.“
The complaints from Tomic, Australia’s great tennis hope a decade ago and languishing at 257th in the rankings at the age of 29, may be related to his frustration at being knocked out in the first round of qualifying by Russian Roman Safiullin, ranked 167th in the ATP rankings. Safiullin prevailed 6-1, 6-4.
Quite different is the situation of Djokovic, world number one. The Serb is training at Melbourne Park thanks to his victory in the court case that found that Australian immigration authorities were wrong to suspend his entry visa last week, but the problems keep piling up, noted local newspaper “The Age”.
“The federal government is looking into whether Djokovic lied on his travel entry form when he said he had not travelled in the previous 14 days”.
Djokovic, in fact, checked “no” in the box corresponding to that question. The truth is that the number one was training in Marbella, Spain, a few days before flying to Australia via Dubai.
Also in question is the certificate that marks Djokovic as positive for COVID-19 on December 16, 2021, as the tennis player was seen in public activities, surrounded by people and without a mask, on the 17th and 18th of that month.
The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the 2022 season, begins this Monday in Melbourne. Djokovic, the defending champion, is seeking his 10th trophy there and his 21st Grand Slam title, which would move him out of a three-way tie with Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Spain’s Rafael Nadal at 20 apiece.