Spanish tennis star Roberto Bautista Agut has apologised for comparing players' quarantine ahead of the Australian Open to prison.
Ahead of the year's first grand slam in Melbourne, overseas players have been sequestered in a hotel where they are quarantining.
The move hasn't proved popular with some, among them world no.1 Novak Djokovic.
The Serb reportedly furnished Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley with a list of demands for the players, including moving them to private homes with access to tennis courts.
"It’s like [being] in a jail," Bautista Agut was quoted as saying by Israeli station Sport 5.
"It’s the same [as being in prison], but with wifi.
"These people have no idea about tennis and about practice courts and it’s a complete disaster.
“The control of everything isn’t Tennis Australia, it’s with the government (and health officials)."
— Roberto BautistaAgut (@BautistaAgut) January 19, 2021
In a social media post, the 2019 Australian Open quarter finalist rowed back on his comments.
"I want to apologize to everyone who has been offended by the video that was posted about me recently," Bautista Agut said.
"It is a private conversation taken out of context that has unfortunately been released to the media without my knowledge or my consent.
"Both my coach and I are following the protocols designed by the Australian Government and Tennis Australia to avoid any risk and guarantee to compete again in a safe way. These are hard times for athletes and for society in general.
"I thank all the people who are making playing tennis again possible. As well as all those who fight against Covid-19 everyday.
"The management that has been made in Australia to prevent the spread of the virus is admirable."
Meanwhile, two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka has called for calm from all sides.
In a Twitter post, the Belarussian wrote, "I would like to ask all my colleagues for cooperation, understanding and empathy for the local community that has been going through a lot of very demanding restrictions that they did not choose, but were forced to follow.
"I would like to ask to be sensitive as well to the people who have lost their jobs and loved ones during this horrible time for all of us around the world.
"I would like to ask all of us to have respect for people who work tirelessly to try to make our lives easier."
📝 💭 pic.twitter.com/BWTqubGMR3
— victoria azarenka (@vika7) January 19, 2021
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