Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley blamed the changing conditions and miscommunication with the government for the Novak Djokovic saga. A week after Djokovic was deported, Tennis Australia CEO broke his silence on the Djokovic controversy.
"It was an incredibly challenging environment," Tiley told ABC. "One or two bits of communication doesn't define all the amounts of communication that continued to go on leading into the event. "We knew we were going to have a difficult period and that's why there was a lot of contradiction and complexity with information.
"And that's why, as an organisation, we continued to seek clarity so we can get to the point where we are today: We are half-way through what's been an unbelievable seven days, not only of tennis but our fans loving it and players also being very comfortable and loving it as well."
Djokovic not suing Tennis Australia
"Even just in the past week since [the ruling], things have changed in relation to the response to the pandemic," Tiley added. "We were at the beginning of Omicron and that's why we were constantly seeking clarity, and there was a lot of complexity and contradiction of information before, after and it continues to be all the way through.
"Like we do every single year, we [will] go and review what we did well, what we can do better, what can we do that propels us into an unbelievable 2023." The reports emerged suggesting 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic was planning to sue Tennis Australia for $6 million over the treatment he received in Australia.
Tiley quickly squashed those claims. "No. I mean there is going to be lots of reports on different things but we … are focused on delivering an event right now, and we will continue to deliver a great event," Tiley said.