Endless Story

17 January 2022
Endless Story

We miss talking about tennis for a while. Everything begins with a post that Novak Djokovic shared his social media accounts in 4 January. He makes an explanation that I am going to Australia with an exemption permission. This explanation stopped discussions that whether or not he joins to Australian Open. Since the explanation that players without vaccination will not come to tournament, all of the questions are same.  The situation of Djokovic who shares the record of Grand Slam with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and comes to Melbourne which he comes for record stays uncertain for weeks. We supposed that everything finished when we see such post in January 4. However everything starts new…

Serbian tennis star that make a landing to the country in January 5 morning at 11.30 local time doesn’t know that it will live the most eventful sequence for history of sports. The document that he takes his country indicates he has vaccine exemption counted as valid by Tennis Australia and local government of the state of Victoria. Also the air travel that brings him to other side of the world happens after this confirm. What the famous tennis player could do, or knowing and taking risks, was not enough to enter the country with the document in hand. Because the CEO of Tennis Australia, Craig Tiley informed in this subject. However this situation will emerge in later. Djokovic set foot in the city where he is one of the most sports heroes, but could not pass the passport control. After the eighth hours questioning, he who placed in refugee hotel in Melbourne announced that he will file a lawsuit against the visa cancellation decision.

The waters would not subside. So much so that both the tennis public and the world press focused on what was happening in Melbourne. The conflict between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Victorian Government, who expressed his opposition to the situation with his statement “The rule is the rule”, was interpreted by some as Djokovic being used for a political fight. When the issue broke out, Czech tennis player Renata Voracova, who had the right to enter the country with a similar exemption, was also deported. There was a process that tested the determination of Australia, which is one of the countries that fought the hardest with the two-year pandemic, on quarantine and vaccination.

As a result of the lawsuit on January 10, the adequacy of Djokovic’s documents was proven and it was decided to release him from the hotel where he was held. According to the documents submitted, Djokovic had given a positive Covid-19 test on December 16, 2021 and was eligible for the vaccination exemption. This was the point where the problem grew more than it should have ended. Serbian racket had attended a mass event in Belgrade, had taken a photo shoot for L’Equipe, and had traveled to Spain during the date range claimed to be positive. On January 12, Djokovic, who posted an apology on social media saying, “We are going through difficult times and sometimes we can make mistakes,” was waiting for sharper arrows of criticism. Moreover, criticisms would be followed by sanctions.

On January 14th, news about that the visa of Djokovic was cancelled as expected by Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke who used his authority for this were served to press.The world number 1, who was in danger of being deported for the second time on “health and order grounds”, was going to appeal again to participate in his favorite tournament, but in vain… Two days later, on January 16, the case was concluded. It has become clear that he will not be able to play in his Grand Slam. The star, whose possibility of not being able to enter the country for the next three years due to the visa cancellation is still on the table, was thus defeated by the difficult struggle approaching two weeks, a slam championship had cost him and a significant amount of image loss. It is difficult to predict what will happen next, how Djokovic will be received in other countries, and the impact of what has happened on his career. Now it’s time to watch some tennis, relax a little…