Boris Becker hits out at unfair Australian Open

Two-time champion Boris Becker has questioned whether or not the upcoming Australian Open will be fair, given 72 players have been confined to hard-lockdown in Melbourne.

Becker, who also formerly coached defending men's singles champion Novak Djokovic, says those that have been unable to train will be at a significant disadvantage when the tournament begins on February 8.

The remainder of the field is allowed five hours out of their hotel room each day to practice and exercise.

"When they come out of quarantine, they haven't even been out in the fresh air, haven't played tennis," Becker told Eurosport.

Former tennis players Boris Becker

"No matter how many steps they've taken in the room, they haven't played ball, and then they have a week to prepare for best-of-five (set) matches, at least for the men, in the hot conditions.

"That task doesn't really work. All the winter preparation was for naught. You have to ask yourself whether these are fair conditions for everyone.

"As an organiser, you have to ask yourself: is this right, is this reasonable?"

Tournament director Craig Tiley has already ruled out changing the tournament to best-of-three sets for the men, while tennis legend Todd Woodbridge told Wide World of Sports earlier this week

Becker's comments come on the day that Spain's Paula Badosa announced

Becker, who won in Melbourne in 1991 and 1996, also came to the defence of Djokovic, after the Serb was widely criticised for his list of requests, including moving players out of hotels and into private houses with tennis courts.


But Becker insisted Djokovic's intentions were good.

"The points he wrote down were absolutely right and legitimite," Becker said.

"You get the feeling Djokovic can do whatever he wants at the moment, he just gets a lot of criticisms.

"In this case, (it was) really unjustified. He wanted to stand up for the players, just wanted to create fair conditions for everyone, but was sharply criticised."

Djokovic wrote on Twitter that his list of suggestions was simply a "brainstorm" and was "misconstrued."

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