Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley speaks to the media.
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley speaks to the media.

Tennis boss reveals ‘most bizarre request’ from quarantine

Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley has revealed the most "bizarre request" received from the tennis stars while in quarantine ahead of the Australian Open.

Several of the biggest names in tennis have complained about spending two weeks in lockdown ahead of next month's grand slam - doing nothing to eradicate a perception of some in the sport as entitled and elitist.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic reportedly issued a letter to Tiley with a list of demands, which included moving players to private houses with a tennis court.

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But speaking to ABC's Offsiders, Tiley revealed the strangest request he was presented with over the past fortnight.

"The most bizarre request was for a kitten in the lockdown room," Tiley said on Sunday morning. "And that wasn't once, that was several times.

"But then we explained that actually there is a correlation between the coronavirus and kittens and that kind of request went away.

"Puppies, there had been some for dogs, and someone was joking with us about if there is a way to get some animals that are indigenous to Australia in there as well.

"There were a few times I wouldn't mind putting a boxing kangaroo in there."

The majority of Australian Open competitors were let out of quarantine this week, with the release being staggered between Thursday night and Sunday afternoon.

Speaking on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, American superstar Serena Williams praised the "super intense" biosecurity rules, admitting the 14-day quarantine was challenging with a three-year-old daughter.

"It's super, super strict, but it's really good," Williams said this week.

"So, Australia right now has, the last I heard, zero cases of COVID. So that is unbelievable, right, the whole country? That is really amazing.

"So when we come here in Australia, everyone has to quarantine in a room for 14 days. It's insane and super intense but it's super good because after that you can have a new normal like we were used to this time last year in the United States."

"They're doing it right. It's definitely hard with a three-year-old to be in the hotel all day, but it's worth it because you want everyone to be safe at the end of the day."

The 2021 Australian Open is scheduled to commence on Monday, February 8th.


Originally published as Tennis boss reveals 'most bizarre request'

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