Australian Open boss Craig Tiley revealed he was placed under security after receiving death threats over the Novak Djokovic Australia visa saga. After landing in Australia on January 5th, 2022, Djokovic was met by the Australian authorities - his visa was revoked - and he was placed in detention.
After 10 long days in Australia and attempts to get his visa back, Djokovic lost his battle and he was deported from the country. "Well, I had death threats and had to be under security but I think, again, it’s internal, self-talk and you have a choice on what that self-talk is.
If I’m making a difference and making tough decisions, there’s going to be some criticism… You know we’re not running a hotel, we’re not there to please everyone. We were in a state where there were 270 days of lockdown.
We were the first Major sporting event to fly athletes from around the world into one city... We were still able to deliver the event and the next year, we started the event on the cusp of Omicron, which was the new variant," Tiley said on the Rock n Roll Tennis Podcast.
Tiley on the Djokovic situation: I got the blame
The Djokovic visa drama drew lots of attention and many were pointing fingers at Tiley after the Serb said he was guaranteed he would face no problems entering Australia with a special medical exemption. "So once Novak left and the event started, of course, I got the blame.
But the one thing that I was most proud of during that tough time in 2022 in running the Open, as much as there were attempts to make players say negative things, not one of them in that two-week period, made any criticism of the Australian Open.
We had to bring players under all sorts of medical conditions and vaccination conditions in the country. That created a whole set of complications primarily because no one really had any clarity on exactly what was required and then there had to be someone to blame," Tiley said.
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