Jeremy Chardy recently spoke about the top 3 men and women - which include Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem - undergoing quarantine in Adelaide instead of Melbourne. Chardy believes the special treatment being handed out to select players is unfair, and he also questioned what the organizers would have done if Roger Federer hadn't withdrawn from the tournament.
World No. 72 Jeremy Chardy is currently competing at the Antalya Open, a tune-up event ahead of the 2021 Australian Open. While speaking with French daily L'Equipe, Chardy expressed disagreement with having a different set of rules for the top 3 players and the rest of the field.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley confirmed earlier this week that Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem - as well as the top 3 women's players - would undergo their mandatory quarantine in Adelaide. But Chardy pointed out that these players would end up enjoying much better arrangements and space than those quarantining in Melbourne, thus bringing imbalance into the pre-tournament preparations.
The former World No. 25 also brought up the point about whether Roger Federer would have received similarly special treatment from Craig Tiley & Co., despite not being ranked in the top 3. That is a pertinent question given the recent reports that Serena Williams - who is currently ranked No. 11 - will be joining the select stars in Adelaide.
"It's weird for a sport where we are all supposed to be on the same footing," Chardy said. "If I were the 4th in the world, I would be defeated! And what would have happened if Roger Federer (currently ranked 5th in the world) had come?"
If Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal & Dominic Thiem can do everything more than you, it's not the same preparation: Jeremy Chardy
Craig Tiley had clarified that the quarantine arrangements for Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem in Adelaide would be the same as those in Melbourne. But Chardy believes the players in Adelaide are bound to have a few privileges that the lower-ranked players might not enjoy.
"They will even be able to benefit from a gym at the hotel and will be able to do their exercises which will not count towards the five hour quota," Chardy said. "Everyone can go out. They will almost be able to live normally."
The Frenchman also pointed out that Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem already have a few advantages owing to their stature. In that context, giving them a further boost in their pre-tournament preparations would be unfair to the rest of the field.
"Already they have a lot of privileges," Chardy added. "If they can do everything more than you, it will not be the same preparation."
Some might argue that separate quarantine arrangements are justified for the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem when you consider that they will be the main crowd-pullers during the Australian Open fortnight. That said, it would only be fair if the same rules were applied for players in both Melbourne and Adelaide, irrespective of their ranking.Published 09 Jan 2021, 16:51 IST