Australian Open boss defends ‘better deal’ for the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams

Australian Open
Serena Williams in action

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley insists top players like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are “getting a better deal” in terms of self-isolation ahead of the tournament as “it’s just the nature of the business”.

World No 1 Djokovic, 20-time Grand Slam winner Nadal and US Open champion Dominic Thiem as well as 23-time major winner Williams, WTA No 1 Ashleigh Barty, two-time major winner Simona Halep and world No 3 Naomi Osaka are in Adelaide instead of Melbourne.

It has let to complaints from some quarters with Austrian doubles specialist Philipp Oswald revealing “players are upset” over the special treatment that the elite are receiving.

‘Players upset’ over privileges afforded to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem

However, Tiley has defended the decision as he feels the best in the business are always going to “get a better deal”.

“There the top players do have better living conditions because they have a balcony,” he said.

He added: “I get the feeling that it’s perceived as preferential treatment. But they’re the top players in the world, it was an advantage for us to get the additional quarantining space and it’s a great opportunity for Adelaide and they deserve it.

“My general rule is that if you’re at the top of the game, a Grand Slam champion, it’s just the nature of the business – you are going to get a better deal.”

The big-name players have been asked to self-isolate in Adelaide as they will feature in an exhibition tournament and Tiley says their hotel is not much different from those in Melbourne.

“[It’s] not dissimilar to what the players in Melbourne have,” he said.

“In Adelaide they have an on-site gym and they have exercise equipment in their room.

“It was reported that there were full gyms on the [hotel] floor [in Adelaide], but that’s not the case.”

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