A year after being deported for not being vaccinated against COVID-19, Tennis Australia will not fight on behalf of Novak Djokovic should he attempt to enter the nation for the first major of 2023.
After a dramatic 10-day court battle that ended with his visa being cancelled on the night of the Australian Open, the 21-time Grand Slam winner was denied entry and Rafael Nadal went on to win the championship.
While Djokovic had been given an exemption to the Australian Open’s rigorous vaccination restrictions by two medical panels and Tennis Australia, he was denied entry to the tournament by the Australian Border Force upon his arrival in Melbourne despite having all the documents in order.
“It is not a matter we can lobby on. It is a matter that definitely stays between the two of them,” Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said.
“And then, depending on the outcome,” Tiley added, “we would welcome him to the Australian Open.”
Changes to Australia’s border regulations on July 6 removed the need for inbound tourists to provide evidence of having been vaccinated against the coronavirus-causing influenza type 19.
It was widely believed that Tiley was to blame for the misunderstanding that resulted in the top-ranked male tennis player of the time being detained in immigration detention upon his arrival in Australia, where he was subjected to hours of questioning by border authorities at Melbourne Airport.