'They are angry': Tennis world divided over Novak Djokovic debacle

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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  • Novak Djokovic
    Novak Djokovic
    Serbian tennis player
Novak Djokovic (pictured) looking at his player's box during a match.
The tennis world has reacted with mixed feelings regarding Novak Djokovic's (pictured) battle to enter Australia ahead of the first grand slam of the year. (Getty Images)

The tennis world has reacted to Novak Djokovic's farcical situation after the World No.1 announced his intention to fight his deportation following the cancellation of his visa after arriving in Australia.

Djokovic will remain in visa limbo until at least Monday as he fights to stave off deportation before the year's first grand slam.

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The nine-time champion is challenging the Australian government's decision to cancel his visa, applying for a judicial review.

However, it remains to be seen what will happen to Djokovic after his 'medical exemption' upon entering Australia was denied.

Rafael Nadal was one player to claim Djokovic was fully aware of the conditions of entry into Australia, despite feeling sorry for the World No.1.

But Eurosport pundit and former Australian star Barbara Schett claimed the World No.1 might receive a hostile return to the court in Victoria if he is allowed to stay in the country.

"It's certainly not going to be easy for Novak Djokovic to step out there on Rod Laver Arena. Probably to play his first round match again," she told Eurosport.

"Once again, I have to mention, the Victorian population is really angry. They're very hurt. They are tired of what has happened in the last couple of years have been locked away.

"And I think it's going to be a rough time for Novak Djokovic if he steps out there and Rod Laver Arena and I don't think there's going to be a lot of fans."

Tennis world reacts to Novak Djokovic debacle

There was a mixed reaction within the tennis community over Djokovic's situation.

American tennis great Andy Roddick pointed out that Australia's strict rules were there for a reason.

"No individual gets to decide the rules for other countries... as you spout off about liberty, I wouldn't let that small detail go by the wayside," he said.

US Open champion Daniil Medvedev said he is unsure on whether Djokovic would play.

Srdan Dojkovic (pictured) father of tennis star Novak Djokovic uses a megaphone to address a rally in front of Serbia's National Assembly as Djokovic fights deportation from Australia after his visa was cancelled.
Srdan Dojkovic (pictured) father of tennis star Novak Djokovic uses a megaphone to address a rally in front of Serbia's National Assembly as Djokovic fights deportation from Australia after his visa was cancelled. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

"If he had a fair exemption from the rule, well, he should be here; if he didn't, he shouldn't be here."

Former Australian Open chief executive Paul McNamee said it was unusual Djokovic appears to be the only player that has had his visa rescinded.

"For those asking, all players go through the same visa process overseen by Tennis Australia to play the Australian Open (as non Australians are currently not able to enter)," he said on Twitter.

A demonstrator holds a placard reading
A demonstrator holds a placard reading "Freedom for the number one, freedom for tennis and Noval" as she takes part in a rally in front of Serbia's National Assembly, in Belgrade. (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images)

"So it beggars belief that Djokovic is the only player that has had his visa granted and then rescinded."

Leading tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg said Djokovic was fully aware of the pending debacle months before the Australian Open.

Players Tennys Sandgren and Sergiy Stakhovsky were more direct and slammed Australia's reaction to the incident.

with Reuters

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