Novak Djokovic has made it clear he’s unhappy with the current quarantine protocol in place for international tournaments, suggesting that the ATP may be better off adopting a bubble strategy similar to what the NBA did last season.
The Serbian star was able to defeat sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev to earn a spot in the Australian Open semifinals, but Djokovic afterward voiced his complaint about the current quarantine protocols in place. For this tournament, players were required to arrive and then quarantine for 14 days before matches began to ensure safety for everyone involved. The length of the quarantine did not sit well with Djokovic.
“We have to find a way, you know, whether it’s something like an NBA bubble, because I heard some players talk about that, and I don’t mind to discuss about that kind of idea,” he said, per ESPN. “Select one place and we play all the tournaments on that surface and that place. You know, three, four weeks in, three, four, two, three weeks’ rest, then back again. Something like that. I don’t know. On the top level.”
It’s an interesting approach, as having players travel internationally repeatedly is likely as unsafe as it is inconvenient. However, it’s difficult to imagine the logistics of a bubble for tennis, as it does not lend itself to the format as naturally as basketball. So far, Djokovic is the only major player to voice his displeasure publicly but if others follow suit, the ATP may need to adjust accordingly.