Novak Djokovic: Tennis Australia avoids visa application


MELBOURNE, Australia –

Novak Djokovic will not get official assist with lobbying from Tennis Australia ought to he search to enter the nation for the primary main of 2023, a yr after he was deported as a result of he was not vaccinated for COVID-19.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion wasn’t allowed to defend his Australian Open title final January after a tumultuous 10-day authorized saga that culminated together with his visa being revoked on the eve of the event ultimately received by Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic initially was granted an exemption to strict vaccination guidelines by two medical panels and Tennis Australia with a purpose to play within the Australian Open however, after travelling to Melbourne believing he had all his paperwork so as, the exemption was rejected by the Australian Border Force.

“It is just not a matter we are able to foyer on. It is a matter that undoubtedly stays between the 2 of them,” Australian Open event director Craig Tiley mentioned Wednesday at a launch for the 2023 occasion, referring to Djokovic and the Australian authorities.

“And then, relying on the end result,” Tiley added, “we’d welcome him to the Australian Open.”

Being deported made Djokovic topic to a attainable three-year exclusion interval that forestalls the granting of an additional non permanent visa, though Australian Border Force in January mentioned any exclusion interval “will probably be thought-about as a part of any new visa application and may be waived in sure circumstances.”

The ABF mentioned every cased is assessed on its deserves.

Australia has modified its border guidelines and, since July 6, incoming travellers now not have to offer proof of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Tiley was closely criticized for his position within the confusion that led to the then top-ranked participant in males’s tennis touchdown in Australia believing he was exempt from strict legal guidelines for unvaccinated travellers, then being questioned by border officers for hours at Melbourne Airport earlier than being held in immigration detention.

The foremost supply of confusion was the exemptions granted to Djokovic and a few others by the state authorities and Tennis Australia to take part within the event — regardless of laws requiring all followers, officers and gamers be vaccinated for COVID-19 — which finally nonetheless wanted to be assessed by border safety officers.

Djokovic was allowed to practise at Melbourne Park after some preliminary success in a courtroom of legislation, however Australia’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke finally used discretionary powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa on character grounds, stating he was a “talisman of a group of anti-vaccine sentiment.”

A current winner of tournaments in Israel and Kazakhstan, Djokovic can apply to new Immigration Minister Andrew Giles to rethink his visa standing.

Tiley, who can be the Tennis Australia chief government, mentioned he met with Djokovic in London final month in the course of the Laver Cup and believes the Serbian star holds no bitterness in regards to the saga.

But Tiley harassed that the pair spoke solely usually about Djokovic’s visa state of affairs.

“He mentioned that he would clearly love to return again to Australia however he is aware of it may be an final choice for the Federal Government and he accepts that,” Tiley mentioned. “If you discover, he’s taking part in quite a lot of tennis on the finish of the yr in anticipation and hope there’s a profitable consequence together with his application. But that’s as much as him.”

A assessment into the episode that made international headlines has led to Tennis Australia outsourcing visa purposes by gamers and their entourages to an organization specializing in immigration issues.

Tiley mentioned the Australian Open had no plans to observe the lead of Wimbledon, which banned Russian and Belarusian gamers from competing this yr due to the invasion of Ukraine.

But there will probably be no reference to the nationality of these gamers, together with 2022 Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev of Russia and two-time ladies’s singles champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, as per tour guidelines.

Tiley declined to debate plans for a revamp of the Australian schedule that’s anticipated to incorporate a brand new mixed-teams event that includes 16 nations held throughout the nation previous to the Australian Open.

Such a contest would have similarities to the long-running Hopman Cup, which was held in Perth for 3 many years previous to the introduction of the ATP Cup in 2020.

Tiley, who promised the return of elite tennis to Perth for the primary time for the reason that pandemic whereas in Western Australia final week, mentioned a summer time program will probably be outlined quickly.

“We hope to have our main cities have a serious occasion, a distinct occasion, a considered one of a sort,” he mentioned. “We will make that announcement after we are able to make that announcement.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here