Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has chosen to rescind Djokovic’s visa again in order to protect the country during the pandemic and the world’s No.1 hopes to stay in Australia hang by a thread.
After hearing about Hawke’s latest move, British tennis star Andy Murray said the current situation was unfortunate for all parties involved and urged authorities to come to a speedy conclusion.
“It’s not a good situation. I’m not going to start hitting Novak while he’s down,” Murray told reporters on Friday. “It’s a shame he found himself in this kind of situation.
“Yeah, I just want it to work out obviously. I think it would be good for everyone if it did. Looks like it’s been dragging on for quite a long time now.”
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, reached his first ATP Tour final since 2019 on Friday after defeating fourth seed Reilly Opelka at the Sydney Tennis Classic.
The Scotsman said the saga leading up to the year’s first Grand Slam was not a good idea for the sport.
“Not great for tennis, not great for the Australian Open, not great for Novak,” added Murray.
“It’s bad for the sport”
Many in Serbia, where less than 60% of the adult population is currently vaccinated, still support their national hero who had always chosen to keep his vaccination status private.
Former Serbian tennis player and friend of Djokovic’s Viktor Troicki told CNN’s Scott Mclean the latest move was “shocking” and “unfair”.
Troicki has played many doubles matches alongside Djokovic and says the 20-time Grand Slam champion remains mentally strong in the midst of global attention.
“There has already been a lot of speculation for 10 days and a lot of different decisions made by the Australian government and Australian law,” he said.
“It’s a lot of confusion. I think it’s more than obvious that it’s a political thing and has nothing to do with sport, which is really sad.”
“It’s really shocking, it’s bad for the sport, it’s bad for tennis and I guess it’s bad for Australia too.”
Former Serbian player Janko Tipsarevic, who reached a career-high No.8 in the world, was also not impressed with what happened.
“The fault is everywhere”
Amid criticism from Djokovic supporters, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Hawke’s decision served to protect Australia during the pandemic.
“I understand that after careful consideration, the Minister took steps to cancel the visa of Mr. Djokovic detained for reasons of health and good order, on the grounds that it was in the public interest to do so.” , did he declare.
“This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian, but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods. “
However, the move was criticized by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who said Morrison’s government acted politically, distracting the public from other national issues.
“What a surprise! Morrison’s government is canceling #Djokovic’s visa to win the weekend media round – showing us all how hairy he is,” Rudd tweeted Friday.
“Why the hell did they issue the visa in the first place? A big political distraction from empty shelves and the nation’s shortage of boosters and RATs.”
While many around the world have taken sides, tennis analyst Darren Cahill, who has coached some of the best players in the world, said everyone should take their share of the blame.
“It should have been a difficult rule to enter this country given what people went through [sic].
“Get your shot and come play AO, or if not maybe see you in 23. No wiggle room.”
Djokovic will be returned to detention by Australian authorities on Saturday after his visa is revoked.
His stay in Australia case will be heard in the country’s Federal Court on Saturday following an emergency hearing before Federal Circuit and Family Court Judge Anthony Kelly on Friday.
The Australian Federal Court is a higher body than that presided over by Kelly.
CNN’s Hannah Ritchie, Jessie Yeung and Adam Renton contributed reporting.
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