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Djokovic’s coach calls Australian Open saga ‘unjust’

January 22, 2022

BRATISLAVA: Novak Djokovic’s long-time coach Marian Vajda said Australia’s deportation of the world number one was “unjust” but said the Serb had not had his “last word in tennis”.

“It was a political process,” the Slovak coach told the website in his first comments since Djokovic’s visa was cancelled ahead of the Australian Open over his Covid-19 vaccination status.

“It was an unhealthy and unjust decision and it will definitely have significant consequences, as it was also an invasion of his privacy, his family,” Vajda said in the interview published Thursday.

Djokovic flew out of Melbourne last Sunday after he failed in a last-gasp court bid to stay and play in the opening Grand Slam tournament of the year, where he was targeting a record 21st major title.

His dramatic departure followed a protracted, high-stakes legal battle between the player and Australian authorities that cast a shadow over the tournament.

Vajda said he was “shocked” by the decision to deport Djokovic.

Djokovic’s refusal to be vaccinated could compromise his participation at the year’s three other Grand Slams, with question marks over his future plans.