'I’ve got to hand it to Novak Djokovic', says former No.1

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'I’ve got to hand it to Novak Djokovic', says former No.1

Former World No. 4 Greg Rusedski has said all the Novak Djokovic drama could easily have been avoided if the Australian Open and the Victorian government had said no to medical waivers. Djokovic refused to be vaccinated before the season but flew to Australia after receiving a medical exemption for the tournament.

After landing in Australia, Djokovic had his visa cancelled. Djokovic's visa was reinstated on Monday, but Immigration Minister Alex Hawke revoked the Serb's visa on Friday. On Sunday, Djokovic lost his visa appeal from Australia.

"This whole mess with Novak could have been easily avoided if the Australian Open and Victorian government had said no medical exemptions are allowed to participate in the @AustralianOpen. You have to be twice vaccinated or you can't participate.

Why didn't this happen?" Rusedski tweeted. "I would like to make a brief statement to address the outcome of today's court hearing. I will now take some time to rest and recover, before making any further comments beyond this," Djokovic said in a statement.

"I am extremely disappointed with the Court's ruling to discuss my request for judicial review of the Minister of cancel my visa, which means I can't stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open. I respect the Court's ruling and will cooperate with the relevant authorities regarding my departure from the country.

It bothers me that the focus of the last few weeks has been on me and I hope that now we can all focus on the game and tournament that I love, I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament."

McEnroe reflects on Novak Djokovic

Tennis legend John McEnroe has slammed the saga which led to Novak Djokovic being deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open. The ESPN analyst criticized the way Australian authorities handled the situation, while claiming the Serb is entitled to the "very strong beliefs" he holds.

"[It’s an] absolute joke what’s gone on the last 12 days," McEnroe said. "It’s sad the way it ended. I watched it play out live. It’s total BS. If he decides not to have a vaccine and the Australian authorities say - 'you cannot go down there, unless you’re vaccinated' - end of story, it’s black and white.

He decides whether or not he wants to do it," McEnroe continued. "He’s got very strong beliefs and he’s entitled to those beliefs. The guy’s won it (the Australian Open) nine times. It was gutsy [to go] in a way.

I’ve got to hand it to him. I’ve got seven Majors, he’s got 20. The reason he’s got a lot more than me is because he’s willing to go risk that, to go down there. You’re talking about a guy that was potentially about to break Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s record (of 20 men's Grand Slam titles, which the Serb shares) and that he was willing to go to these lengths - 'I don’t want to get vaccinated but I’m going to do whatever it takes'," McEnroe added.