Jamie Murray explains why Novak Djokovic’s NBA-style bubble idea would be difficult to pull off in tennis
Jamie Murray says quarantining for long periods is “not great for your mental health” while he also concedes that Novak Djokovic’s suggestion of implementing a NBA-style bubble would be “very difficult” to replicate in tennis.
The world’s best tennis players were all forced to self-isolate for 14 days in Melbourne and Adelaide ahead of the 2021 Australian Open.
Players were only allowed to practice for short periods every day and when the sport finally got going several players struggled mentally and physically.
World No 1 Djokovic, who himself picked up an injury en route to winning a ninth Australian Open trophy, said the majority of players do not want to continue with the season if it means going through multiple periods of quarantine.
He also floated the idea of a NBA-style bubble for tennis with all events taking place at the same venue.
Doubles specialist Murray admits he and his partner Bruno Soares are not sure when they will return to the ATP Tour, but says the current situation is not healthy.
“We’re not totally sure what our plans are, but we are looking at playing in Acapulco and Miami assuming they go ahead next month as planned,” he wrote in his BBC Sport column.
“We should have exemptions through the ATP to travel and compete. For the players, there is the added stress of trying to get flights, not knowing if you are going to test positive on arrival and then having long periods sitting in your room in quarantine.
“It’s not a great set-up for your mental health. It is a strange time and I don’t know how long it will keep going like this.
“Novak Djokovic floated the idea about an NBA-style bubble recently. In an ideal world, the Tour would move to one country for six or seven weeks and have a host of tournaments.
“However, in reality, that’s obviously very difficult because the Tour doesn’t run the tournaments.
“Hopefully the world can get vaccinated, and we can get back to competing in a normal world with people free to come and watch us play.
“But it stills feels as if we are a way off from that happening.”
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