The name of Novak Djokovic mysteriously disappeared from the list of players scheduled for training sessions at Melbourne Park, scheduled for this Friday, as the government’s decision on a possible deportation of the tennis number one is delayed.
A few days before the opening of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, the attention of the international press is focused on the ruling of the Minister of Immigration Alex Hawke, who must decide whether he deports or not the Serbian tennis player.
Djokovic was expected to be on center court, and the media would have a chance to watch him from a window for about 15 minutes.
However, the Serbian’s name was removed from the list of players scheduled to train.
The nine-time Australian Open champion completed a separate practice session at Rod Laver Arena on Friday, pending a definition of his legal status.
However, it was clarified that the removal of Djokovic’s name from the training roster does not necessarily mean that his afternoon session has been abandoned.
Stefanos Tsitsipas’s anger: “Djokovic makes us look like idiots”
In the midst of the diplomatic and sports conflict generated by the entry of Nole to Australia, the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas admitted his discomfort for the inclusion of the Serbian in the tournament table, since the number 1 of the ATP is at risk of being expelled from the country before the start of the first Grand Slam of the year, scheduled for next Monday.
“Djokovic sets his rules, this is clear. He did something that few dared since the ATP and Tennis Australia announced the conditions to be here. Among the players, none imagined being able to come without being vaccinated, “said Tsitsipas, admitting that” it takes a lot of courage to do so. “
However, the Greek said that “it seems that not everyone follows the rules.” “And this very small minority makes most of the other players seem some idiots, in a certain sense, “added the world number 4.
Tsitsipas, who will make his debut in Australia against the Swede Mikael Ymer (82), questioned Djokovic before an Indian TV channel despite the fact that he had long ago invited to “respect Novak, whatever his decision.”
Despite the fact that the draw ceremony was postponed for 75 minutes, Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke still has not defined the permanence or eventual expulsion of Nole Djokovic, who confessed that there was “a mistake” in the presentation of his documentation to enter Australia, since he applied for a visa with medical exemption to play the tournament.
For his part, Rafael Nadal was also one of the tennis players who spoke about the Serbian’s situation. At the time he explained that “we must trust people who know”, referring to health professionals who advise getting vaccinated to stop the pandemic.
“What is happening is not good for anyone. I don’t handle all the details of what happened so I can’t have a solid opinion, “Nadal clarified at a press conference after his second-round win against the Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis.
In this regard he added: “I feel bad for him but Novak knew the conditions beforehand“and insisted that it is important to trust professionals in the field and follow their advice to receive the vaccine.
“It is normal for people here to get frustrated. They have passed very hard confinements, people could not travel from one state to another,” the tennis player transmitted when commenting on the uproar caused by the news that the Serbian had supposedly received an exemption to compete in the Australian Open.
The authorities organizing the Grand Slam require its participants to be vaccinated against Covid-19, but Nole was authorized to enter the country by an Australian judge after an initial rejection of his visa, and is now at risk, according to local press, to be sentenced to 5 years in prison in the country for his “mistake.”
The Serbian admitted to having violated the isolation provided in his country for cases of coronavirus. However, it transpired that the number one in the world already has an appeal prepared for Hawke’s eventual decision to oust him.
Djokovic, who never confirmed having been vaccinated against Covid-19, was seen on December 16 in Belgrade after having tested positive for coronavirus. The next day, the Serbian Tennis Federation announced on its Facebook profile that “the best tennis player on the planet” signed young players cups and diplomas on December 17. The post included photos of Djokovic with federation officials and about 20 young people, all without a chinstrap.
With information from agencies