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January 18, 2022

Alexander Zverev

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

A. ZVEREV/D. Altmaier

7-6, 6-1, 7-6


Q. This is our first chance to speak with you since the ruling came down about Novak, the final resolution. What are your thoughts about how everything unfolded over the last week or two?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, I think I kind of answered that in my first press conference. It wasn't easy for anybody, I think especially for him. You know, he had the visa. Then got it taken away once he arrived here. Then won in court, was allowed to practice, was allowed to stay in the house. Now he had to go back to home, to Serbia.

I think the whole situation wasn't easy for everyone, but for him especially. I mean, it's very difficult to say something, it's very difficult to kind of, you know, say the right things.

But in my opinion, yeah, look, Australia has suffered a lot. Australia has been, you know, a closed country for almost two years, and I understand it from that perspective, I understand the tough rules that we had last year. I was one of the players that really did not complain one second last year about anything, and I completely understood it.

I have to say one thing, I think Craig Tiley has lost, I think, a few years of his life over the last two years, but is doing an incredible job. I mean, to make the event happen last year when the country was completely closed, and to make it happen this year again is one hell of an effort. I think he deserves a lot of credit.

But I think, yeah, on the other hand, it's really difficult to say something. As I said, I understand the Australian people's perspective, I understand the Australian government perspective. But I also do believe there should have been more communication between the Victorian government and the Australian government before Novak came here, because once Novak came here, it was very obvious that all of this would start if the government didn't approve of his visa.

It is very difficult for him, I think, to be in a position that he is in now. I think the whole world is talking about it. The whole world is talking about one of the greatest athletes to ever live in such a negative way, which I find very difficult.

So I think there should have been clarity what should have happened from the start, and he should have either been let into the country or he shouldn't have been let into the country. And I understand the perspective that if they say no unvaccinated players should be in Australia, then he shouldn't have gotten into the country and that's it. But then all of this drama would have not happened.

So in my perspective, I feel a little bit sorry for him in the way that, you know, how the world and how the people speak about him now.

Q. Would like to know if you know that today the French government, the French politicians, decided that without vaccination you cannot play anymore even Roland Garros and any sport events. I would like you to make a comment on that, because that is today's news. It changes perspective. Without vaccination, nobody can play, so Djokovic has to decide what to do, and everybody else.

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah. Look, but at least it's clear. Well, first of all, I didn't hear it. But thank you for giving me that information. But at least it's clear what's gonna happen. At least they are saying, Okay, no unvaccinated players are allowed to play in the French Open. We know that now in advance, and I can imagine there's not going to be any exemptions, and that's okay. I mean, every country can decide for themselves.

I am a fan of letting everybody decide for themselves if they want to get vaccinated or not. I think that's a decision that you are allowed to take. But I'm sitting here and I'm playing the tournament. I mean, obviously we don't need to talk about me in this regard.

But if they are making it clear from the start, that's fine. I think there is not going to be mistakes that happened here with the French government.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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