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Novak Djokovic’s visa controversy ‘damaging on all fronts’ – ATP

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic won a record nine men’s Australian Open titles

The controversy over Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa application has been “damaging on all fronts,” the men’s professional tennis tour said.

ATP has also called for more clarity on the rules for entering Australia and urged players to get vaccinated.

Djokovic left a migrant detention hotel on Monday after his visa cancellation was overturned by the court.

But Australia’s Immigration Minister still has the power to revoke the visa again and deport the unvaccinated player.

“The complications of recent days with players entering Australia have highlighted the need for clearer understanding, communication and enforcement of the rules,” an ATP statement said. .

“Traveling to Melbourne, it is clear that Novak Djokovic believed he had obtained a necessary medical exemption in order to comply with the entry rules.

“The series of events leading up to Monday’s hearing have been damaging on all fronts, including Novak’s well-being and his preparation for the Australian Open.”

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic spoke with her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on a call Monday and stressed Djokovic’s need for good training conditions, local media reported.

Mr Morrison’s office said in a statement he had had a “constructive appeal”. Neither leader said whether Djokovic could still be kicked out.

Following his release, Serbian Djokovic, 34, posted a photo of himself and his team – including coach Goran Ivanisevic – on the court at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, where he won a record nine titles in men’s singles at the Australian Open.

This year’s tournament starts on January 17th and if Djokovic wins he will become the most successful male player in history.

The world number one is tied with Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Spain’s Rafael Nadal in 20 Grand Slam singles titles.

Although Djokovic has not spoken publicly about his immunization status, during his interview with customs officials, he confirms that he is not vaccinated.external link

He told the investigator he had tested positive for Covid twice – in June 2020 and December 16, 2021. Copies of his positive PCR tests were provided to the investigator – one was released on December 16, 2021, a day before Djokovic appeared at public events without a mask.

ATP added: “More generally, ATP continues to strongly recommend vaccination for all players on the ATP circuit, which we believe is essential for our sport to weather the pandemic.

“This is based on scientific evidence to support the health benefits provided and to comply with global travel regulations, which we hope will become more stringent over time.

“We are encouraged that 97% of the top 100 players are vaccinated before this year’s Australian Open.”

Nadal called the preparation for the Australian Open a “circus”.

“Justice spoke and said he [Djokovic] has the right to participate in the Australian Open and I think it is the fairest decision, ”Nadal told Spanish radio Onda Cero.

Czech player Renata Voracova his visa has been canceled after traveling to Australia.

The Czech government said Voracova entered Australia with a valid exemption. Like Djokovic, she had recently contracted Covid-19.

The Australian government said on Friday that a recent infection does not mean a foreign national can travel to the country without being fully vaccinated.

“I hope he can play. Because that’s what we went there for: to play tennis and not participate in indoor matches,” said Voracova.

“Djokovic is not yet able to relax” – analysis

Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent

This late-night training session at Melbourne Park must have been one of the most exhilarating of Novak Djokovic’s career.

After securing an unexpected victory in an entirely different court earlier today – with the judge expressing sympathy for him throughout the day – his hopes for a 10th Australian Open title are still alive.

Australian Border Force suggested that Djokovic had brought little evidence to the country to support his medical exemption. Judge Kelly saw it completely differently, asking “what else could he have done?”

But the world number one is not yet able to relax, as Australia’s Immigration Minister is expected to decide on Tuesday whether he should use his personal power to cancel the visa a second time.

And in the days to come, Djokovic will also have to justify why he posed for pictures with children at an awards show the day after his positive PCR test was confirmed in December.



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