The ATP on Monday called the saga surrounding world number one men’s singles Novak Djokovic “damaging on all fronts”. Djokovic won his appeal on procedural grounds, overturning the border officer’s initial decision to cancel his visa before the Australian Open.
ATP said the series of events leading up to Monday’s hearing could affect Djokovic’s well-being and preparation for the Australian Open. “ATP fully respects the sacrifices made by the Australian people since the onset of COVID-19 and the strict immigration policies that have been put in place. The complications of recent days related to the entry of players into Australia have however highlighted the need for better understanding, communication and enforcement of the rules, “said the ATP statement.
“Traveling to Melbourne, it is clear that Novak Djokovic believed he had obtained a necessary medical exemption in order to comply with the entry rules. The series of events leading up to Monday’s hearing were detrimental on all sides. fronts, including for the welfare of Novak and preparation for the Australian Open. “Player medical exemption requests are made independently of ATP, however, we have been in constant contact with Tennis Australia for get clarification throughout this process. We welcome the outcome of Monday’s hearing and look forward to a few exciting weeks of tennis to come, ”he added.
The ATP further said it strongly recommends every player get the COVID-19 vaccine as it is essential for tennis to weather the pandemic. “More generally, the ATP continues to strongly recommend vaccination for all players on the ATP circuit, which we believe is essential for our sport to weather the pandemic,” said ATP.
“We are encouraged that 97% of the top 100 players are vaccinated before this year’s Australian Open,” he added. Notably, Djokovic obtained a medical exemption to enter Australia and compete in the Australian Open because he had recently tested positive for COVID-19, court documents released on Saturday revealed.
The organizers of the Australian Open granted a medical exemption to vaccine-skeptic Djokovic, after which he flew to Melbourne last week. However, upon landing, the nine-time Australian Open champion spent eight hours in detention at Melbourne airport where he unsuccessfully argued his case with border officials. (ANI)
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