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Novak Djokovic visa hearing: Rafael Nadal backs Australian Open grand ‘with or without’ world number 1 |  Tennis News


World number one Novak Djokovic was again arrested by Australian authorities ahead of the second visa appeal hearing on Sunday morning (Saturday evening GMT); Djokovic set to face Miomir Kecmanovic in first round

Last Update: 01/15/22 07:28

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal pictured after their semi-final clash at Roland Garros in July

The Australian Open is more important than one player and will be a big tournament ‘with or without’ Novak Djokovic, according to Rafael Nadal.

The Spaniard has made it clear on several occasions that he disagrees with Djokovic’s resistance to the Covid-19 vaccination and the extent to which his ongoing visa battle has overshadowed the tournament is clearly a frustration for many.

Speaking at his pre-tournament press conference, Nadal said: “It is very clear that Novak Djokovic is one of the best players in history, without a doubt. But there is no a single player in the story that is more important than an event.

“The Australian Open is much more important than any player. If he finally plays, OK. If he doesn’t play, the Australian Open will be a great Australian Open with or without him .”

Novak Djokovic visa hearing: Rafael Nadal backs Australian Open grand ‘with or without’ world number 1 |  Tennis News

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Andy Murray says the situation surrounding the revocation of Novak Djokovic’s latest visa is not good but refused to criticize the Serb

Andy Murray says the situation surrounding the revocation of Novak Djokovic’s latest visa is not good but refused to criticize the Serb

Djokovic has appealed the decision to revoke his visa for the second time and a hearing will take place on Sunday morning (22:30 Saturday GMT), the day before his clash with Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round.

The world No 1 released a statement earlier this week, admitting he took part in an interview last month when he knew he had tested positive for the virus, and each new development in the saga has drawn enormous attention.

Novak Djokovic visa hearing: Rafael Nadal backs Australian Open grand ‘with or without’ world number 1 |  Tennis News

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Novak Djokovic has admitted making an ‘error in judgement’ by attending an interview and photoshoot with a French newspaper after testing positive for Covid-19 last month

Novak Djokovic has admitted making an ‘error in judgement’ by attending an interview and photoshoot with a French newspaper after testing positive for Covid-19 last month

Nadal said: “From my point of view, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. In some ways, I think it will be good if everything is clarified soon.

“Everyone chooses their path. I wish him all the best. I really respect him, even if I don’t agree with a lot of things he’s done in the last few weeks.”

“It was up to him to decide: his choices, his judgment”

Stefanos Tsitsipas, who was very critical of Djokovic in an interview earlier this week, closed the topic on Saturday saying: “Obviously a lot of people are talking about it. That’s why I’m here to talk about tennis. Not enough tennis .we’ve been talking about it for the past few weeks, which is a shame.”

Public opinion in Australia has not been on Djokovic’s side, and Alex De Minaur offered a national perspective saying: “Australians have been through a lot. There is no secret about that. They’ve had a hard time. They’ve done a lot of work to protect themselves and their borders.

Novak Djokovic visa hearing: Rafael Nadal backs Australian Open grand ‘with or without’ world number 1 |  Tennis News

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Andrew Castle thinks Novak Djokovic could face problems in future tournaments as he faces being kicked out of Australia

Andrew Castle thinks Novak Djokovic could face problems in future tournaments as he faces being kicked out of Australia

“When you arrive, as well as all the other tennis players, if you wanted to enter the country, you had to be double vaccinated. It was up to him: his choices, his judgement.”

Alexander Zverev is usually one of Djokovic’s staunchest supporters on tour and he believes world No.1 status has worked against him.

“I don’t know enough about the situation but I think that if it weren’t for Novak Djokovic, world No. 1, with 20 Grand Slam tournaments, all that, it wouldn’t be such a big drama,” he said he declares.

“I understand the point of view of the Australian people and the government. The Australian government and the Victorian government should have been clear about what is going to happen in advance. I think it’s not very fair for a person of come here and not be able to play.”

Novak Djokovic – Sequence of events

January 4 – Djokovic announces that he will travel to Australia with an “exemption permit”.
January 5 – While Djokovic is in flight, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the athlete would be on the “next plane home” if he could not provide “acceptable proof” that his exemption was legitimate.
Acting Sports Minister Jaala Pulford stresses that local government in Victoria, where the Australian Open is being held, will not support Djokovic’s visa application.
The world number 1 arrives at Melbourne Airport around 11:30 p.m. local time.
January 6 – At around 3:15 a.m., Djokovic’s father reports that his son is being held in solitary confinement at Melbourne airport.
At 5 a.m., Goran Ivanisevic posts an image on social media of himself and another member of Djokovic’s squad who is apparently waiting for the world number 1.
At approximately 8:15 am local time, it was confirmed that Djokovic’s visa had been refused by Australian border forces.
Djokovic is transferred to a quarantine hotel while his legal team appeals for the visa to be canceled.
The appeal against the cancellation of her visa is adjourned until Monday (January 10) morning Australian time.
January 7 – Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said Djokovic was “free to leave at any time” and was not being detained.
Djokovic breaks the silence in an Instagram post on Friday, thanking his fans for their “continued support.”
January 8 – The submission of Djokovic’s lawyers on Saturday reveals a positive Covid-19 test in December.
January 9 – Home Secretary Andrews has a request to delay the hearing until Wednesday (January 12) rejected by Judge Anthony Kelly.
The submission from Australian government lawyers says Djokovic had not been given assurances that he would be allowed to enter the country with his medical exemption.
January 10 – Djokovic wins on appeal. Judge Anthony Kelly overturns the visa cancellation and orders the Australian government to pay court costs and release Djokovic from detention.
Djokovic takes to social media to confirm he remains determined to compete in the Australian Open.
January 12 – Djokovic posts on Instagram admitting to making an “error in judgment” while attending an interview and photoshoot with a French newspaper after testing positive for Covid-19 last month.
Jan.14 – Novak Djokovic faces deportation after the Australian government revoked his visa for the second time.
January 15 – The case is transferred to the Federal Court of Australia and the appeal hearing is officially set for 9.30 am local time on Sunday morning January 16.




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