‘Damaging on all fronts’ – ATP release statement on Novak Djokovic Visa cancellation
The ATP have released a statement on the detainment of Novak Djokovic and say they “welcome the outcome of the court hearing” but have urged all players to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Last week 20-time Grand Slam titlist Djokovic travelled Down Under after being granted a medical exemption. However, this exemption was deemed unacceptable and Djokovic faced deportation when he had his visa cancelled.
Djokovic had remained in Australia this week to fight the decision in court. The court ruled in favour of reinstating the World number one’s visa and the Serbian great now looks set to defend his Australian Open title, despite being unvaccinated.
Despite Djokovic being cleared to stay in Australia with a valid exemption, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke still reserves the right to supersede the court’s ruling.
A day after Vasek Pospisil criticised the ATP for remaining silent on the matter, the ATP have now released a statement in which they are pleased with the outcome and have “strongly encouraged” all players to get vaccinated.
The statement read “complications in recent days related to player entry into Australia have however highlighted the need for clearer understanding, communication and application of the rules.
“In travelling to Melbourne, it’s clear Novak Djokovic believed he had been granted a necessary medical exemption in order to comply with entry regulations.
“The series of events leading to Monday’s court hearing have been damaging on all fronts, including for Novak’s well-being and preparation for the Australian Open.
“Player medical exemption requests are made independently of ATP, however we have been in constant contact with Tennis Australia to seek clarity throughout this process,” the ATP revealed.
“We welcome the outcome of Monday’s hearing and look forward to an exciting few weeks of tennis ahead.
“More broadly, ATP continues to strongly recommend vaccination for all players on the ATP Tour, which we believe is essential for our sport to navigate the pandemic.
“This is based on scientific evidence supporting the health benefits provided and to comply with global travel regulations, which we anticipate will become stricter over time.
“We are encouraged that 97 per cent of the Top 100 players are vaccinated leading into this year’s Australian Open.”
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