Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Leaked video shows Australian Open chief praise staff for ‘unbelievable job’ amid Novak Djokovic detainment controversy

A leaked video has shown Craig Tiley praising the efforts of his Tennis Australia team despite the ongoing controversy regarding  the deportation of Novak Djokovic.

20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic revealed he had been granted a medical exemption ahead of the Australian Open but was met by Australia’s Border Force when his exemption was deemed insufficient and his visa was cancelled.

Djokovic has been allowed to remain Down Under with an injunction as he awaits his court hearing which will be held on Monday.

In a leaked letter sent to players in December from Tennis Australia, it was suggested that medical exemptions may be granted should players be able to provide evidence they contracted Covid-19 within the past six months.

However, this was in contradiction to information put forward by Minister for Health Greg Hunt, who said this reason was not a valid basis for vaccine exemption and entry into Australia.

Apart from a statement released in which Tennis Australia denied accusations they mislead Djokovic and other players seeking medical exemptions, the organising body have maintained silence on the situation.

Tennis Australia chief executive Tiley has also remained reserved about the situation and why players were provided with incorrect medical and border entry information, but the leaked video shows him praising his staff.

The video was leaked by the Herald Sun, in which tournament director Tiley said “we’ve chosen at this point not to be very public with it and simply because there is a pending lawsuit related to entry into Australia. Once that has run its course, we’ll be able to share more with you.

“There’s a lot of finger-pointing going on and a lot of blaming going on, but I can assure you our team has done an unbelievable job and have done everything they possibly could according to all the instructions that they have been provided.

“What is important is that we continue to remain safe. We are dealing with a highly infectious variant [Omicron] and we want to make sure that each and every one of you [spectators] are safe and feel comfortable and secure.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.