At the end of a dispute that lasted almost two weeks, Novak Djokovic was expelled from Australia on 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 phenomenon 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 Majors.
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.
Speaking on the Tennis Channel, WTA legend Martina Navratilova analyzed the events that led to Djokovic's expulsion from Australia.
Navratilova opens up on Djokovic
"Novak Djokovic is on a plane as we speak, back to Europe.
It's just so unfortunate that we're talking about this rather than tennis," Navratilova began. "So now that we have clarity as you said, now we can talk about tennis. But bottomline it goes back to - there were so many mistakes made, on so many different parts, many unforced errors but the biggest one (was) started all by Novak."
Lindsay Davenport also gave her two cents on the issue while appearing alongside Navratilova on Tennis Channel. "We've talked about the Australian Open, the last 10-12 years about just what an amazing Happy Slam (it is)," Davenport said.
"We've had some amazing finals, we had Serena win over her sister Venus while being pregnant. We had Roger and Rafa's five-set final, we've had some of the most historic matches. And the last two years have been absolute utter chaos.
From players last year getting off a plane, being told 'oh you can't leave your room now' for 14 or 15 days and having no clue to this year possibly our greatest champion being detained at the airport for eight hours, then being sent to a detention jail-like hotel," she added. "It has been a mess and there have been as Martina said, so many mistakes from every level."