I wanted to quickly write a letter that I hope you have time to read during your 14-day period of self-isolation. I know isolation can be difficult, having not hugged a family member or loved one since March.
I own a small business covering tennis. You could say that tennis is my life. I cover it closely, and I was thrilled to see you return to form in my home town of Melbourne this year. Your pledge to assist impacted by the bushfires in Australia was exceptional and I thank you for that.
At a guy @AlexZverev
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 21, 2020
The world is very different to the world we knew in January. I have only left home for essential purposes in the past couple of months. As a means of supplementing myself at the moment, I pick up shifts at a hospital. Yesterday, I woke up feeling unwell, so I thought it would be best to go and get tested for COVID-19. I have since self-isolated as I am unwell, and waiting test results.
I woke up this morning to see your doctors have advised a different form of self-isolating:
Sascha Zverev six days ago after Adria Tour coronavirus cluster:
“I deeply apologize to anyone that I have put at risk…I will proceed to follow self-isolating guidelines…stay safe .”
Sascha Zverev four hours ago: pic.twitter.com/vqBXvYdxkv
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 28, 2020
I was quite critical that some people referred to Novak Djokovic’s mistakes on the Adria Tour as a ‘learning experience’. I’m not sure what to call this.
What has changed in the last five days that has caused you to believe you are above a virus that has now infected over 10,000,000 people and killed over 500,000? What made you think partying when you were meant to be isolating was a good idea? Was it watching Dominic Thiem flaunting the rules and continuing to play exhibitions? It certainly can’t have been the news that Goran Ivanisevic tested positive for COVID-19 after multiple negative tests.
As someone who is reliant on the resumption of all tennis tours to be able to have a functioning business, it is a little disappointing to see players at the top of the game, with enough financial stability to not need tennis to return imminently, continue to put the return of the game at risk. People look up to you, whether you like it or not. Your actions have an impact.
I know my opinion means next to nothing, however I am still going to speak up. Unfortunately there are many players, coaches, media and freelancers that have not had work for months now, that are looking to a tour return in just over a month as a beacon of hope.
Please don’t jeopardise this. Please don’t deeply apologise unless you actually mean it.
There were enough double faults at the Adria Tour. No more please.
Just stay home. It isn’t that hard.