Andy Murray described the re-escalation of Novak Djokovic’s visa saga as “not nice for tennis, not nice for the Australian Open and never nice for Novak,” after the Serb’s hopes of taking part in within the first grand slam of the yr have been left hanging by a thread on Friday.
Murray was considered one of a lot of present and former gamers to specific their frustration on the persevering with state of affairs after Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, exercised his powers to revoke Djokovic’s visa for a second time.
Whereas Djokovic will spend the 48 hours earlier than he is because of play his first match on Monday on the Australian Open being detained at a secret location and watching a closing listening to to find out his standing, Murray will play in his first ATP Tour closing in simply over two years.
Talking after defeating Reilly Opelka within the final 4 of the Sydney Basic, a visibly annoyed Murray mentioned of the subject that has dominated the buildup to Melbourne: “It’s unlucky that it’s ended up on this kind of state of affairs … [I] simply need it to get resolved. I feel it could be good for everybody if that was the case. It simply looks like it’s dragged on for fairly a very long time now, and yeah, not nice for the tennis, not nice for the Australian Open, not nice for Novak.”
Boris Becker, who coached Djokovic from 2013 to 2016, acknowledged that “no tennis participant is larger than a event” but additionally instructed BBC Sport: “It’s a political recreation he obtained concerned in and that’s unlucky.”
The announcement at near 6pm on a Friday night native time that Djokovic’s visa was being cancelled once more had drawn combined response on social media, with many Australians believing it was the best determination to stay to the preliminary determination by the Australian Border Drive the unvaccinated participant didn’t meet federal regulation and needs to be deported.
Others, nonetheless, bemoaned the lengthy drawn-out course of that they mentioned allowed Scott Morrison’s authorities to distract consideration from pandemic-related provide chain and testing points.
The seven-times grand slam champion, Justine Henin, argued that given most public sentiment appeared to favour the federal government’s determination, that Djokovic can be higher off heading house.
“I feel it’s one of the best factor he doesn’t play in the meanwhile,” she mentioned. “When one thing is so sophisticated, I don’t say that Djokovic doesn’t should battle, as a result of he thought it was the best factor to do, however I feel now it’s been proved that so many Australian individuals don’t need him to play. So possibly it’s higher for everybody, for tennis, for the event, and possibly for him, that he doesn’t play the event.”
The well-respected coach Darren Cahill, who has labored with Andre Agassi and Simona Halep amongst others, mentioned that there have been no winners amid the fallout and that the sacrifices of the Australian individuals in enduring lengthy lockdowns and strict vaccine mandates ought to have been prioritised.
“Fault lies in all places right here,” Cahill tweeted. “It’s been a multitude. Novak, TA [Tennis Australia], Vic Gov, Federal Gov. It ought to’ve been a tough rule getting into this nation contemplating what the parents have been via. Get vaccinated and are available play the AO, or if not possibly see you in 23. No wiggle room.”