Melbourne: Tennis Australia on Tuesday broke their silence on Novak Djokovic’s visa debacle which saw the world number one getting deported from Australia.
The nine-time Australian Open champion departed Australia after he lost his appeal against deportation on Sunday. The tennis player was also ordered to pay the legal costs to the government. Djokovic’s visa was cancelled on Friday by Alex Hawke, the Australian Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs.
In a statement that didn’t even mention Djokovic’s name, Tennis Australia wrote: “The board of Tennis Australia, supported by its Member Associations, would like to issue the following statement in relation to the Australian Open 2022. We would like to make clear from the outset that we respect the decision of the Immigration Minister and the finding of the Federal Court of Australia over the weekend.”
“Australian Open 2022 has now commenced, and our priority has always been to put on one of the world’s greatest sporting events and ensure we are delivering the best possible experience for all our players, the fans, and the community.”
“The Australian Open is a showcase of Melbourne and Australia and much loved by players from all over the world. Tennis Australia has been working closely with both the Federal and Victorian government for the past year to deliver a COVID safe Australian Open for the players, staff, and fans.”
“As the Australian tennis family, we recognise that recent events have been a significant distraction for everyone, and we deeply regret the impact this had on all players. There are always lessons to learn, and we will review all aspects of our preparation and implementation to inform our planning – as we do every year. That process always starts once the Australian Open champions have lifted their trophies,” the statement added.
Earlier, Novak Djokovic had said he was “extremely disappointed” by the Australian court’s ruling to dismiss the tennis player’s application for judicial review of the cancellation of his visa.