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Roger Federer’s ‘great decision’ amid Australian Open quarantine chaos

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Roger Federer

Roger Federer’s decision to skip the Australian Open is proving to be the right one as the complaints about strict quarantine protocols continue to pile up.

 

 

Federer stunned the tennis world in December when he announced that he would not be flying Down Under for the Australian Open, saying his left knee hadn’t fully recovered after surgery.

However it later emerged that the Swiss legend wasn’t willing to put his young family through 14 days of strict hotel quarantine in order to participate in the year’s first grand slam.

Federer was reportedly unhappy that wife Mirka and their four children would be confined to a hotel room for 14 days before the rescheduled tournament begins on February 8.

Players have been allowed out of their rooms for up to five hours per day to practise, but families are confined to full quarantine lockdown.

And if a player is deemed to have been a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, the restrictions get even tougher and the training privileges are revoked.

Former World No.55 Andre Sa, who is Head of Player Liaison at Tennis Australia, said he spoke to Fededer in December about the quarantine situation.

“The main reason for Roger’s withdrawal was the quarantine,” Sa told Bandsports website. “I talked to him a month ago, and he had two options. Sa said Federer told him that wasn’t an option.

“In that case, there would be at least five weeks away from family and children,” the Brazilian said.

“And then he said, ‘Dude, 39, four kids, 20 grand slams. I am no longer in that time to be away from my family for five weeks’.”

Federer’s decision now appears to be the right one, with complaints about the hotel quarantine conditions flying thick and fast.

Roberto Bautista Agut compared his hotel quarantine experience to prison, Yulia Putintseva was forced to change rooms after discovering mice, while Belinda Bencic expressed fears that players could get injured if they have to compete immediately following a hard quarantine.

Spanish player Paula Badosa then said she felt ‘abandoned’ by Tennis Australia after being moved to a ‘health hotel’ because she tested positive for COVID-19.

Players rage over fresh quarantine controversy
On Thursday the complaints continued with American player Tennys Sandgren expressing his confusion that his exit from quarantine had been delayed.

The first groups of players exited hotels on Thursday night having completed their 14 days in quarantine, with the process to continue until Sunday.

However some were upset that their quarantine time didn’t end until midnight on the final day, including the outspoken Sandgren. He had already been in the headlines after testing positive before boarding the flight from Los Angeles, but he was deemed to be “viral shedding” from an earlier infection.

The two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist posted a video message complaining about the delay ahead of playing in the lead-in tournament next week. “I just found out we’re not going to be able to leave the room until midnight tomorrow,” Sandgren posted on Instagram.

“That will put us at close to 15 days in this room – it’s also another day we can’t practise. “That’s play Saturday, Sunday, Monday and play a match Tuesday. “After 16 days off we get three days hitting and then a tennis match. My name’s Tennis Australia and I’m so cool.” Georgian Oksana Kalashnikova, the women’s World number 63, was also unhappy with her scheduled departure.

She posted a meme on Twitter saying, “Why??” and wrote: “When Australian Government orders u to stay another extra day just because.

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‘Rafael Nadal literally thrashed Novak Djokovic’, says former No. 2

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How can you identify the greatest tennis player in the world? What are the parameters to take into consideration? All questions to which there is no real answer. The debate on the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) will probably never end and indeed with the recent victory at Roland Garros of the Spanish champion Rafael Nadal will become even richer.

The Majorcan has now joined Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slam titles while Novak Djokovic chases at 17. Recently, the strong Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic also spoke on the matter and he too declared that the debate on the GOAT will never end.

In conclusion it can be said that there are several additional factors to consider in the debate, beyond the Grand Slam count. Novak Djokovic was ‘literally thrashed’ by Rafael Nadal in the French Open final, says Alex Corretja.

Corretja on the French Open final

“Rafael Nadal literally thrashed Novak Djokovic,” Alex Corretja told sport.es. “And it should be remembered that the Serbian is the current number one in the world and that he has 17 Grand Slams to his credit.

“He defeated him at the most important moment and under the most adverse conditions”. Corretja also stressed just how big Nadal is in Spain, claiming no other Spanish athlete can match his popularity. “Without a doubt, he is the Spanish athlete with the largest number of followers in our country and the audiences support him.

The final had more than three and a half million viewers hooked on television to see Rafa’s new feat”. Rafael Nadal is respected and thought about a lot around the world. And for budding tennis players in Spain, Rafa is their inspiration.

Rafa’s academy in Mallorca, Spain is bringing up top talent into the tennis court. In his career or life, Rafa follows simple formulas to be who he is. The Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience is Rafa Nadal’s first and only trophy exhibition in which, in addition to collecting his 20 Grand Slam titles, highlights of his sporting career are collected from when he started playing tennis until today.

The tour is done through his trophies, but also through the shirts and shoes that Rafa won each of the Grand Slam finals in and played with throughout his career. In addition to knowing firsthand the results of one of the best tennis players in history, in the exhibition area visitors will be able to see the objects donated by some of the main figures in the history of world sport such as Michael Jordan, Fernando Alonso, Pau Gasol, Roger Federer, Mireia Belmonte, Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Cristiano Ronaldo and many others.

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Rafael Nadal: “Better that a sportsman does not deal with politics”

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The controversy arising from the words of the Swedish AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic about LeBron James has caused a sensation in recent days. The experienced AC Milan player praised the qualities of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball player, but at the same time he stressed that as a basketball champion he only had to take care of that and not argue for political issues and that in any case they did not concern him.

LeBron James responded harshly in the conference, but during an interview with Veja the Spanish champion Rafael Nadal, although in different contexts and not dealing with this, wanted to talk about this issue. Here are his words: “Why don’t I want to talk about politics? I am aware of the political situation and I talk about it a lot with my friends and with my team members, I am informed and have my own opinion like any other citizen.

However, I know that if I start talking about politics, everything I say will be taken from a certain context and would make me uncomfortable. For this reason I avoid talking about it, even if I think I have every right in the world to express my opinion.”

Rafael Nadal on his career and on Djokovic
The Spanish champion also stated: “COVID-19 struck me a lot, especially during the quarantine. I couldn’t and didn’t want to train, I didn’t want to do anything.
When we managed to get some situations I resumed training albeit with less intensity, always trying to avoid injuries.

It was a slow process that took place step by step. I changed my routine and the virus undoubtedly hit me. Training without knowing what the next tournament was going to be was tough, we didn’t have any goals. However, playing without an audience was really sad, but I think I adapted to the new situation at Roland Garros.”

On the behavior of Novak Djokovic during the pandemic Rafa declared: “I prefer to talk about how I have lived the last few months instead of judging what others are doing. It was very difficult to observe what was happening and especially about what was happening around me.

We live in a very strict quarantine with thousands of deaths, I remember that between April and June there were over 50 thousand deaths in Spain. I didn’t have the strength to do anything given the situation and I think that given the problems of so many countries it is impossible to relax.”

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Serena Williams looking hot and smart with her daughter Olympia for Stuart Weitzman. VIDEO

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Serena Williams loves spending time and posing with her lovely daughter Olympia. The world no.7 is partnering with Stuart Weitzman, helping to promote the Spring 2021 collection. Serena appeared in a photoshoot and really nice and cute video with Olympia or… the “mini-Serena.”

Serena and her daughter Olympia are inseparable. As per Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, they have never spent even 1 day apart and the former world no.1 travels around the world to play her tournaments only if Olympia can travel with her.

 

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