'Just go home': Tennis legend's epic takedown of Novak Djokovic

Martina Navratilova (pictured right) speaking a WTA function and (pictured left) Novak Djokovic taking a break from training.
Martina Navratilova (pictured right) said the best thing for Novak Djokovic (pictured left) to do right now could be to 'go home' and avoid the circus surrounding his presence in Australia. (Getty Images)

Tennis icon Martina Navratilova claimed the best thing for embattled Novak Djokovic to do is 'go home' after his latest statement caused uproar within the wider community.

Australian Border Force officials cancelled Djokovic's visa last week for entering the country while unvaccinated, only for the cancellation to be later quashed by a federal court.

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Immigration Minister Alex Hawke delayed a decision on whether to use discretionary powers to cancel the World No.1's visa on Wednesday, as he considers evidence provided by Djokovic's lawyers on the matter.

Despite Djokovic remaining out of the public eye over the last two days, the furore surrounding his actions has intensified after the 34-year-old admitted he conducted an interview with French magazine L'Equipe on the 18th of December after finding out he was positive on the 17th.

Now, tennis legend Navratilova said it could be best for Djokovic to head home considering the 'mistakes' he has made in the lead up to the Australian Open.

"It's such a combination of mistakes on everyone's part," she said on Seven's Sunrise.

"The bottom line is, sometimes your personal beliefs have to be trumped for the greater good, for those around you, for your peers."

Navratilova added if she was in the same position she would either: "get vaccinated, or don't go play", before she added it: "just doesn't add up."

The 18-time grand slam champion said she has always defended Djokovic against public scrutiny for his behaviour on the court as he seeks to become the male with the most grand slams.

However, the tennis icon said it could be time for Djokovic to admit mistakes have been made and it is time to go home.

"I'm not him. The best thing for Novak to do I think is to say, 'You know what, there are too many mistakes, this not OK, I would be the only unvaccinated player to play in the Australian Open,'" she added.

"The right thing to do is to just go home. If you pull a hamstring, you don't make a worldwide uproar about it. It's just the right thing to do, but I don't think he will do it because he wants that 21st title."

Djokovic is level with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on 21 grand slams and will be odds-on favourite to add another to his cabinet if he were to play his most successful tournament.

Navratilova also claimed Australians may not take kindly to Djokovic taking the court if he plays at the Australian Open considering the long lockdowns many states have endured.

Novak Djokovic waiting for deportation ruling

The Australian government is reportedly 'preparing a case' to deport Novak Djokovic over discrepancies in the tennis star's arrival in Australia.

Djokovic has tried to keep it business as usual in his build-up to the Open, where he will bid for a record 21st grand slam title.

Despite the looming draw and an imminent decision on his immediate future, Djokovic returned to Rod Laver Arena on Thursday afternoon for another training session, which was briefly open to the media.

A large media pack, plus a news helicopter overhead, watched on as Djokovic trained with coach Goran Ivanisevic and Argentinian World No.64 Federico Coria but also took several breaks from the sweltering Melbourne sun.

with AAP

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