American tennis legend Jim Courier thinks Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley and Tennis Australia are not to blame for the Novak Djokovic visa debacle. Djokovic refused to get vaccinated before the start of the season but flew to Australia after being granted a medical exemption for the tournament.
Two independent medical panels agreed Djokovic met the criteria and was handed a medical exemption. There have been calls for Tiley to resign after Djokovic was deported from the country. “Tennis Australia did their job,” Courier told Channel 9 on Tuesday, as quoted on Fox Sports.
“Their job is to try and help the players gain entry to the tournament. Tennis Australia is not the government. They do not issue visas. “They do not allow players to cross borders so I don’t know that you can lay this at the feet of Craig or Tennis Australia.
“Their job is to work this wonderful tournament thrive. Unless some underhanded things happened which we’re not aware of, which I highly doubt, knowing Craig and his integrity. I don’t think there is any more fault to be laid at the feet of Tennis Australia”.
John Newcombe agrees Tiley not to blame in the Djokovic case
After landing in Australia, Djokovic had his visa canceled and was placed in detention. Djokovic won his appeal in court and got his reinstated before Immigration Minister Alex Hawke exercised his power to revoke the visa of Djokovic.
Djokovic again appealed the decision but this time lost and was deported from the country on Sunday. “I support Craig 100 per cent,” former world No.1 Newcombe told Fairfax. “But I wonder why people who are above his pay grade in Tennis Australia were not there (to support Tiley) during this.“This was above just tennis players.
This was to do with the Prime Minister and the Premier of Victoria ... I wonder why he wasn’t really supported”.