Murray: Djokovic saga is bad for tennis

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  • Andy Murray
    Andy Murray
    British professional tennis player from Scotland
  • Novak Djokovic
    Novak Djokovic
    Serbian tennis player

Andy Murray is the latest big name to show concern for Novak Djokovic while declaring that the saga which has engulfed the world No.1 is "really bad" for tennis.

As Djokovic spent another night at the immigration detention hotel that's been his home since arriving in Melbourne on Wednesday, his old British rival Murray reckoned he, like the rest of the sport, had been shocked by the whole episode.

Djokovic's fate should be resolved on Monday when his lawyers challenge the rejection of his visa application by Australian border force officials.

In their appeal document sent to the court, they say the 34-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 in December, and it was on those grounds that they sought a medical exemption that would allow him to defend his Australian Open crown.

But lawyers for the federal government will argue in a hearing that it had not given Djokovic any assurance that his medical exemption would be accepted.

The Serbian has to await the outcome of this hearing which will determine if he's allowed to play for a 10th Australian title or whether he will be deported.

The whole affair, now in its fifth day since the champion's arrival, has left three-time grand slam winner Murray - the man Djokovic has beaten in four Australian Open finals - quite dismayed.

"I think everyone is shocked by it to be honest," the former world No.1 told reporters.

"I'm going to say two things on it just now. The first thing is that I hope that Novak is okay. I know him well, and I've always had a good relationship with him.

"The second thing I'll say on it, is it's really not good for tennis at all, and I don't think it's good for anyone involved. I think it's really bad.

"Some stuff has come out that really doesn't look good, either. I want to hear all the facts first before giving all of my thoughts on it."

Murray's thoughts have been echoed by other tennis stars like Australia's most high profile men's player Nick Kyrgios, who said: "I'm feeling for him now. Like it's not really humane, is it, what's going on?"

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