Australia versus tennis star: only losers in the Djokovic saga

Efinite. After six days, Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke canceled the entry visa for tennis world number one Novak Djokovic on Friday. Just so that his attorneys keep fighting to get him to Center Court in Melbourne. Australia is a constitutional state. But for more and more Australians, the twists and turns of the system, the long waits and the wrestling of judges and government officials are difficult to understand.

The entry of the Serbian to win his tenth title “Down Under” turned into a drama that harmed Australia and at least as much damage to the top athlete. The only right thing would have been not to let the 34-year-old – and all the other unvaccinated – across the border in the first place. Given the severity of the pandemic and the traditional harshness of Australia’s immigration policy, the largely undefined grays of the regulations have harmed everyone.

Black or white – that would have given athletes, politicians and the public the necessary feeling of security. Djokovic as a world athlete should have been overcome and vaccinated. Or do without the tournament. Especially since he was absolutely keen to play in Melbourne in order to become the king of professional players by winning 21 Grand Slam tournaments. That is understandable. It is incomprehensible that although he tried to comply with the contradicting demands of the Australians on the surface, more and more inconsistencies came to light.

They suggested that his advisors and “agents” were incapable. They would never have shown their gold donkeys before departure in Serbia and Spain, never filled out the visa form incorrectly and never allowed the allegedly infected person to run around without a mask. The fact that the family and the Serbian government would have preferred to march into Australia the first time their visa was withdrawn also left the impression that a sports millionaire had lost all grounding here.

All are now damaged: Djokovic is through in large parts of the sports world. Australia’s federal and state governments stand there as if they were being pounded against the wall by a top athlete and his lawyers. And Tennis Australia appears like a group of amateurs who shouldn’t be hosting a tournament in times of crisis. It will take a long time for the wounds to heal. At least the bleeding from the open wound should be stopped on Monday when the first balls are hit in Melbourne. Unless Djokovic still plays.

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