The soap opera of Novak Djokovic eventual Australian soap opera continues. As the first Grand Slam of the year moves into its second week, the absence of the number 1 in world tennis remains a topic of conversation. This Sunday, Craig Tiley, the head Tennis Australia, has opened the door wide for Nole to take part in the tournament next year, despite the fact that he was banned from entering the country for three years after being deported.
“I think he will play next year. After all, he is the strongest player in the world and he loves the Australian Open,” said the Federation president.
The nine-time Grand Slam winner was expelled from the country after an 11-day legal battle after looking to enter the country without being vaccinated with Covid-19. Based on the current la, he could not set foot on Australian soil for three years.
However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that “the sanction could be reduced if the right circumstances occur” And those circumstances happen, today, because ‘Nole’ is vaccinated for Covid-19, something that does not seem to be for the work Victorian State Premier Daniel Andrews insisted Djokovic “can only be welcomed if he arrives already vaccinated”, contrary to Tiley’s words.
The embattled head of Tennis Australia denied in an interview to ABC the information about a possible lawsuit by Djokovic to the federation for damages: “No. He is not going to sue,” he said. “We are talking and we will talk again, but at the moment we are only focused on the organization of this great event,” he added.
Regardless, the Australian president considered that “it is important to note that there is no person, no organization that is more important than this tournament”. And he explained that Tennis Australia tried several times to clarify the issue with the national authorities, but the changing nature of the omicron variant meant that “there were many contradictions and complexities with the information”. “Even just in the last week (since the decision), things have changed in relation to the response to the pandemic.”
There were calls in the past few days for Tiley to step down from his position after blaming the government for the entire Djokovic situation handling.
“We tried to do the right thing … leading into the event were forever-changing conditions. You seek clarity, and one or two bits of communication doesn’t define all the amounts of communication that continued to go on leading into the event,” said Tiley via The Guardian.
Nole also has a battle coming up in the summer as he will basically be prohibited entry in France this coming summer as he looks to win Roland Garros and possibly see if he could get to 21 Grand Slams that way.