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09th Jan 2022

Andy Murray says Novak Djoković situation is ‘really bad for tennis’

Daniel Brown

‘It’s really not good for tennis at all and I don’t think it’s good for anyone involved’

Andy Murray has suggested that Novak Djokovic’s situation is “really not good for tennis at all” as the Serbian star faces deportation from Australia. 

The world number one was denied entry into the country as he prepared to defend his Australian Open title after an error from his support team saw them mistakingly request a sub-class of visa, which doesn’t apply to those who are exempt from the Covid-19 vaccine.

Djokovic – who is currently in an immigration detention centre – is appealing against deportation, with a court hearing to decide whether he can stay in the country or not scheduled for Monday (23:00 GMT Sunday).

A bid to delay his appeal against deportation to Wednesday was rejected.

However, Murray, who will also play at the tournament, has admitted that he is shocked by the situation and that it’s ‘not a good look’ for the sport. 

He said: “I think everyone is shocked by it.

“I’m going to say two things on it just now. The first thing is that I hope that Novak is OK. I know him well, and I’ve always had a good relationship with him and I hope that he’s OK.

“The second thing: 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.”

Murray is not the first high-profile tennis player to comment on the ongoing saga, with Australian player Nick Kyrgios also claiming that his country’s handling of the dispute had been “really bad”.

In contrast, Rafael Nadal stated that Djokovic could be playing “without a problem” if he had wanted to.

Despite Djokovic’s representatives claiming that he was given a medical exemption after testing positive for Covid-19 on December 16, he was not told by the Australian government that his “so-called medical exemption” would allow him to enter the country to compete in the Australian Open.

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