It’s no secret that Alexander Zverev (24) and Novak Djokovic (34) are big buddies. “I will never say a bad word about Novak” is one of the Olympic champion’s most heard sentences.
The Hamburger also adheres to this in the dispute over the visa of the Serb, who has been back in the Park Hotel deportation hotel since Saturday. He is in favor of Djokovic being allowed to play in Melbourne from Monday. Zverev: “He had a visa, right? He didn’t come here on the spur of the moment. If you have the visa, you expect to play.
Zverev sees the fact that his friend is so prominent as one of the reasons for the whole case. “Novak is a very big name, a global star. I think he’s someone that people might think they can make a big deal out of just because it’s Novak.”
In fact, before he entered the country on January 5, no one asked that five other participants, players and officials, were already in the country with special permits.
Zverev: “The player who was expelled (Renata Voracova – Ed.) even played a tournament here before Novak came. Then she was expelled because of him. I think if it wasn’t about Novak, the number 1, the 20-time Grand Slam winner, then it wouldn’t be a big drama. ”He may even be right.
The number 3 in the world, who meets Daniel Altmaier (23) from Kempen at the start on Monday, is also to blame for the authorities Down Under. “I understand the Australians’ and the government’s point of view. But the Australian and Victorian governments should have known what was happening beforehand. I don’t think it’s fair that a person comes here and can’t play.”
A view that most Australians probably do not share, because errors have also appeared in Djokovic’s health declaration, which have not all been clarified. The positive corona test in particular raises questions, which he claims to have done on December 16, but which the time stamp dates to December 26.
The federal court in Melbourne wants to decide on the Djokovic case on Sunday (9.30 a.m. local time). It was adjourned on Saturday to allow the Djokovic side to provide more evidence.
Zverev himself has prescribed his own little bubble. “I train twice a day, that’s all I do. We have 50,000 corona cases a day here, so I don’t take any risks. I have a huge, beautiful room, I don’t have to go out. After all, I want to be successful here.”
What does he do all the time when he’s not having treatment or writing or phoning his girlfriend Sophia Thomalla (32)? “The German players all come by, then we play cards and I have the food delivered.” And all that for the first Grand Slam victory of his career.