Boris Becker has come to the defence of former employer Novak Djokovic as the world No. 1 Serb ws slammed for suggesting that locked-down players be given consideration when the Australian Open finally begins.
Djokovic, isolating in relative comfort in Adelaide in preparation for a Tennis Australia-mandated weekend exhibition between top players, asked for sympathy for 72 fellow competitors under hard lockdown in Melbourne after arriving on flights where another passenger tested positive.
The unlucky group of both men and women have been unable to leave their rooms at all and won’t taste freedom until the weekend with the February 8 start of the delayed Open barely a week away and zero training in their legs.
Djokovic’s plea for players was rudely knocked back without consideration by Victorian government health bureaucrats.
Becker says his former client has been hard done by: “The points he wrote down were absolutely right and legitimate,” the 53-yead-old told Eurosport.
“You get the feeling Djokovic can do whatever he wants at the moment, he just gets a lot of criticism.”
The six-time Grand Slam champion added: “In this case, (it was) really unjustified. He wanted to stand up for the players, just wanted to create fair conditions for everyone, but was sharply criticised, even by the prime minister of the country.
“I think it’s important for Australia and especially Melbourne that the players come to Melbourne.
“It’s good for the city and for the economy. The country and the city benefit and then you have to treat the players more fairly and respectfully.”