Former world No. 3 Marin Cilic thinks the whole Novak Djokovic situation could and should have been handled much better. Djokovic, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, announced on Tuesday he was granted a medical exemption for the Australian Open.
Djokovic landed in Melbourne on January but he spent nine hours at the airport before being told that his visa was cancelled. Djokovic is now isolated in an immigration hotel and awaiting for the results of his appeal. "It's unbelievable that this is the situation he's in.
And no matter what the decision of the Australian government [...] should have been, the way everything went is not right for anyone, especially not for Novak," Cilic said.
Čilić on Djoković: [...] It's unbelievable that this is the situation he's in.
And no matter what the decision of the Australian government [...] should have been, the way everything went is not right for anyone, especially not for Novak." (https://t.co/y9CcYH9xaV) — Oliver | Tennis (@insidetennis99) January 7, 2022
'Djokovic is not above the rules'
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison took to Twitter after the Djokovic news became official.
“Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant," Morrison tweeted.
Djokovic's father, Srdjan, described what the Australian authorities did as "shameful." "It's a shameful decision. Deportation. All of us need to go out and welcome him [when he comes back]. I can’t talk to my son; they present him as a criminal.
I'm lost for words for all what they have done to him," Srdjan said. Djokovic's mother, Dijana, said the whole situation has been very difficult for her. “It is very difficult for me to go through this.
No one deserved this kind of treatment, especially not him. This is a political position, that he cannot play, it is a scandal. To put him in dirty hotels, to have no contact with us, is an unprecedented treatment," Dijana Djokovic said.