Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

Novak Djokovic’s former coach and several grand slam winner Boris Becker has lamented that the world number one men’s visa had his visa canceled by Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, but said it serves as a reminder that no player is bigger than the sport.

Becker’s reaction was just one of many from the tennis and political world, as Djokovic and his lawyers once again have to challenge his visa cancellation.

His thoughts seemed to be repeated by triple grand slam winner Andy Murray, who described Djokovic’s situation as “unfortunate” when asked by reporters after his semi-final victory at the Sydney Tennis Classic.

Andy Murray sits at a table answering questions after his Wimbledon loss.
Andy Murray says he hopes Djokovic’s situation can be resolved quickly.(Reuters)

While Murray was measured, former women’s world number one and seven-time grand slam champion Justine Henin said it would probably be best if Djokovic simply packed his suitcases and took home at this point.

Former French Open champion and BBC host Sue Barker said Djokovic simply had to face the consequences of his own actions when it came to his refusal to be vaccinated.

Djokovic’s former Serbia Davis Cup team-mate Janko Tipsarevic tweeted: “Toxic shame on everyone involved in this process …”

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While well-known coach and tennis analyst Darren Cahill said the situation was poorly reflected on everyone involved.

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In Australia, the decision also led to plenty of political clues.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he noted Mr Hawke’s decision to cancel the tennis star’s visa.

“I understand that the Minister, after careful consideration, has taken steps to cancel Mr Djokovic’s visa for reasons of health and good order, on the grounds that it was in the public interest to do so,” Mr Morrison said.

“This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for all Australians, but we have held together and saved lives and livelihoods.”

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese, however, said the saga was a distraction from major problems facing the country, accusing Mr Morrison of using Djokovic’s visa drama as a distraction.

“[Scott Morrison] “has used this Novak Djokovic saga as a distraction from the lack of our supermarkets, the lack of our chemists, the lack of workers, the uncertainty that people have had about children’s boosters and return to school and everything else,” Mr Albanese said.

“But what we have from a government is that day after day after day does not make a decision where it is now almost 60 days since his visa was granted.”

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tweeted that the Djokovic debacle was “one big political distraction” for the government.

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The latest court battle between Djokovic and the federal government is set to resume on Saturday.

ABC / Reuters

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