1987 Wimbledon champion Pat Cash suggests the politics are the reason behind the decision to deny Novak Djokovic entry into Australia. Djokovic landed in Melbourne on January 5 but he was detained at the Melbourne Airport for nine hours before the Australian Border Force cancelled his visa.
Djokovic appealed the decision and he has a court hearing scheduled for Monday. “It seems that this is a problem with the visa, but I have been to different countries many times and there have been problems with both the passport and the visa, and that usually gets resolved relatively quickly.
That is why I think that it is primarily a matter of the political situation,” Cash told N1, as quoted on Sport Klub.
Paul McNamee came to the defense of Djokovic
Former Australian Open tournament director McNamee told ABC News that Djokovic “played by the rules”.
Also, McNamee said Djokovic deserves a day on court and not in court. “He is the only player that I’ve ever known in the history of the Australian Open that has had his visa rescinded,” added McNamee.
“Players need to know with confidence that if they’re flying round the world to events, there’s not going to be this sort of problem at entry. “It’s a problem we’ve seen over the last two years in Australia and the victim of that is the No.1 player in the world.
“He was following the rules. Now you might be angry that he was given an exemption, but players need to have confidence that the rules they abide by are going to be enforced. It’s not fair to him. Whether you like the rules or not, he doesn’t make the rules - so he deserves his day on court and not in court, in my opinion”.
It remains to be seen if record nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic will be allowed to compete at Melbourne Park.