At the end of a dispute that lasted almost two weeks, Novak Djokovic was expelled from Australia on last Sunday after the verdict passed by the Federal Court. The number 1 in the world had won the first appeal before Judge Anthony Kelly, but the Minister of Immigration Alex Hawke had decided to revoke his visa for the second time by exercising his discretion.
The Serbian champion will not be able to defend his title at Melbourne Park, a tournament that has crowned him on nine occasions. Nole, winner of the last three editions of the Happy Slam, will also have to postpone overtaking Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the all-time rankings of the Slams.
The choice of the 34-year-old from Belgrade not to get vaccinated could affect his entire season, as more and more nations have introduced the double dose as an essential requirement for entry. It is fresh news that unvaccinated players will not be able to participate in the 2022 edition of Roland Garros.
Navratilova is right on Djokovic's issue: they all came out very badly
Speaking on the Tennis Channel, WTA legend Martina Navratilova analyzed the events that led to Djokovic's expulsion from Australia. The American is perfectly right to judge the story: an issue in which everyone lost.
Nole, the Australian government, tennis Australia, lawyers and, in particular, the Game itself. Martina said: "At the moment I am speaking, Novak Djokovic is on a plane that will take him back to Europe. First, let me tell you that tennis has completely taken a back seat due to this story.
It really is a shame. Everyone made mistakes in this story, but it was Nole who made it difficult for himself. If the nine-time AO champion had been vaccinated like all the other players, the need for medical exemption would never have arisen."
. She echoed by Lindsay Davenport: “Already last year there was a lot of controversy due to the quarantine to which the players had been subjected. In this edition, the number 1 of our sport was held at the airport for hours and then sent to a prison-like hotel.
There have been gigantic mistakes on every level. Novak, Tennis Australia and the federal government all came out with broken bones from this affair."