The Northern Territory news Mon 25 Jan 2021
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
MONDAY JANUARY 25 2021 SPORT 51 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA Novak Djokovic shares a joke with fans from his hotel balcony in Adelaide. GRAND slam great Boris Becker has launched an impassioned defence of the man he used to coach, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Djokovic has rarely been out of the headlines in the past year, from his incredible results to a series of on and off-court controversies. Its been more of the same since the eight-times Australian Open champion arrived in Adelaide this month, with his list of COVID-19 quarantine requests for his playing peers polarising opinion. However, Becker a former world No. 1 and sixtimes grand slam singles champion says Djokovics most recent criticism is unwarranted. The points he wrote down were absolutely right and legitimate, Becker told Eurosport Germany. You get the feeling Novak Djokovic can do whatever he wants at the moment, he just gets a lot of criticism. In this case, really unjustified. He wanted to stand up for the players, just wanted to create fair conditions for everyone, but was sharply criticised, even by the Prime Minister of the country. Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley has clarified that Djokovic was merely offering suggestions rather than making demands. The most contentious of Djokovics wishes were that the players time in hard quarantine be reduced from 14 days and for them to be moved to private houses with a tennis court. MARC MCGOWAN EASE OFF NOVAK: BECKER IT may have been overshadowed by the quarantine controversy that engulfed the lead-in to the Australian Open, but the absurd situation involving Dayana Yastremska reached its likely conclusion on Sunday. The Ukrainian, who is in quarantine, will almost certainly depart Australia without having set foot onto Melbourne Park, after her appeal against a provisional suspension for doping was dismissed. Former ASADA chief Richard Ings is among those who are bemused the 20-year-old was able to travel to Victoria and quarantine at the expense of Tennis Australia. The International Tennis Federation stood down Yastremska, a finalist in the Adelaide International last year, on January 7, after confirmation of a positive test in November. A winner of three WTA titles, Yastremska tested positive to mesterolone metabolite in an out-of-competition test two weeks after her season concluded in Linz. Effectively, this meant there was more than a week between the notification and the departure of flights to Australia in which an appeal could have been heard. Ings, a former top-level ATP Tour umpire and integrity executive, is bemused Yastremskas hearing was not expedited, given the current climate related to travelling abroad in a pandemic. He said Yastremska should never have been allowed to travel and believes the ITF should compensate Tennis Australia for the subsequent expenses associated with her travel to Melbourne. This incident requires clarification, he wrote on social media. She has a right to a hearing based on provisional suspension. But why couldnt it have been expedited to occur before the flight left? Its her appeal. Her evidence. Why wasnt the hearing held before departure? Ukrainian cheat set to depart COURTNEY WALSH Ash Barty. CONFIRMATION of three Australian Open COVID-19 cases with the mutant UK strain has caused tournament director Craig Tiley to delay increasing how many people players can be exposed to. In a leaked email sent to players on Saturday night, Tiley said Tennis Australia wanted to do everything possible to minimise the risk for all competitors in quarantine. Every player who can leave their hotel room to train has an allocated hitting partner for the duration of quarantine. Its believed the plan was to expand cohorts from two to four, meaning players could train with different people or even have doubles practice. However, players were hesitant to do so because of the strict protocols and the potential to have to go into hard lockdown for 14 days. COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria revealed on Saturday that three previously reported cases linked to the grand slam had since been discovered to have the more infectious UK strain. Two of the men are aged in their 30s and one in his 50s but none is a player. It is amid this environment that after consultation with many of you we have postponed the planned expansion of the cohorts, Tiley wrote. Having more people in your cohort is no extra risk to the local community because you are all in quarantine. But we want to minimise the risk to each of you and thats why we have delayed the expansion and will continue to assess daily. The 72 players who were on three charter flights with at least one positive coronavirus case have been in hard quarantine since arriving in Melbourne. Unlike those in soft quarantine, they havent been able to leave their hotel rooms. The remaining players in the mandatory 14-day quarantine have up to five hours a day to train on court and in the gym, as well as eat on-site. The only player whos tested positive is Spains Paula Badosa, who revealed her result late on Thursday night. Her quarantine period effectively restarted with that news. Other players are eligible to exit quarantine on Friday and Saturday, depending on when their flight arrived in Australia and pending medical clearance. Its understood TA will add an additional WTA event to the calendar. It will start on Wednesday, February 3, and finish on the Sunday. Mutant victims force a rethink MARC MCGOWAN Open director Craig Tiley. Thrill of the fight has Barty eagerly awaiting her comeback AS Ash Barty prepares for her comeback to competitive tennis in Melbourne, she is excited to have discovered a familiar rhythm in her preparation. The world No.1 has again found the thrill of the fight. I think, in a way, different parts of the year moved at different paces. For those who didnt play throughout the year, your career has almost had a pause, she said. Personally, I felt like I have had so much growth this year, being able to spend time at home with my family and really appreciate the little things that matter most to me. But the competitor in me has really missed the competition, the tennis, the thrill of the fight. I think the last two or three weeks, I have almost felt my happiest trying to get ready again to do what I love. Barty described the thrill of the fight as her anticipation about what lies ahead as she starts a campaign that will begin with an appearance in an exhibition in Adelaide on Friday. She will then play in a WTA Tour event in Melbourne in the first week of February before the Australian Open, where she will be the top seed. The 24-year-old has plotted a path with her coach Craig Tyzzer aimed at reaching peak form and fitness by next week. The pair reunited in Brisbane in October after Tyzzer was caught in Victoria in lockdown during winter before serving a quarantine stint in the Northern Territory. (The thrill of the fight) is everything. It is the butterflies. It is the excitement. It is almost in a way the noise that comes with it, she said. As much as, at times, I love to block out the noise, that is what makes it unique. That is what makes it special. Being able to test yourself against the very best is something that I love to do. COURTNEY WALSH
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