The Djoko saga in Australia, part 794: forced exit back to court

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Should it take that long to ban Novak Djokovic from Australia or not? Yes, because that’s part of the tactical joust. In any case, if Djoko has to leave, he’s not gone yet, but he wants to tackle Australian politics a second time this weekend, so that he can play his first round against Miomir Kecmanovic.

The immigration minister may have made the decision last night in Belgian time, but the case drags on for days anyway. Officially it was said that the ministers of the court still had to study the countless documents that the Djokovic camp had submitted. There are other things involved. It’s part of the tactical joust: don’t make the decision too early so that Djokovic doesn’t have too much time to challenge the decision before the Australian Open starts. Because if he has to leave, the lawyers of the number one in the world want to appeal anyway. They hope that they will be heard this weekend, and that everything can be completed by Sunday at the latest – although the chances of him staying are not very great.

The organizers of the Australian Open hoped that they already knew on Thursday whether they could let their record winner play. The draw was therefore postponed for a while, but in the end they had no choice but to let the ceremony go ahead. And so Djokovic is tentatively scheduled to play his first round against his Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic. In the meantime, Djokovic made use of the lost time he had to sit out in the ‘corona hotel’: he trained with the Argentinian Frederico Coria and the Australian youngster Tristan Schoolkate, among others.

In any case, Djoko divides opinions, even among his fellow professional tennis players. Stefanos Tsitsipas, number four in the world against Eurosport: “Every tennis player knew very well what protocols and rules apply in Melbourne. A small part follows its own rules, which makes the rest feel embarrassed. It is risky to go against the rules like that and risk participating in a grand slam tournament.” (hjb)

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