Dan Andrews didn’t mince his phrases when he delivered a stern warning to Novak Djokovic about his future relationship with Australia.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has delivered a blunt message to Novak Djokovic if he ever needs to return Down Under after Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley left the door ajar for him to compete at Melbourne Park in 2023.
Djokovic could possibly be again in Australia subsequent January – regardless of a three-year ban from entering the country hanging over his head — if granted permission from the Federal Government.
Last week, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews mentioned all questions on lowering Djokovic’s ban have been hypothetical.
“There are some compelling reasons that may be able to be looked at, but that’s all hypothetical at this point. Any application will be reviewed on its merits,” Ms Andrews mentioned on Channel 9.
But Tiley believes the 20-time grand slam champion will be back in Melbourne next year to try to win a tenth Australian Open title.
“Yes,” he advised the ABC, when requested if Djokovic will come again to Australia. “Obviously I think he’s got to play out this year but that will be his intention.
“At the end of the day he’s the number one player in the world and he loves the Australian Open.”
“(But) it’s really important to note that … there’s no one person, there’s no organisation that is bigger than the event itself.”
Dan Andrews mentioned on Sunday he hadn’t heard Tiley’s feedback, however reiterated if Djokovic wished to journey to Australia, he must get the jab.
“My position is very clear. You want to come here — get vaccinated. It’s pretty simple,” Mr Andrews mentioned.
“Rafa (Nadal) had it right. It could all have been avoided if he just got vaccinated, and that fellow (Djokovic) might think he’s bigger than the tournament. He’s not. That’s why the tournament’s happening without him. And it’s a great success.
“To Mr Tiley and all of his team, I wish them well as they enter the second week. This is a major event. It’s the biggest thing in tennis in the first quarter of every year. Melbourne, London, New York and Paris are connected by some things. One of them is tennis, grand slam tennis.
“This event is much bigger than any one person. There was one person who thought differently. He’s not in the country. And the tournament’s happening, so that’s fantastic.”
Djokovic was deported after the Federal Court upheld immigration minister Alex Hawke’s choice to cancel his visa.
The unvaccinated world primary and TA thought Djokovic had a legitimate medical exemption to enter the nation as a result of he had contracted Covid-19 prior to now six months, however that wasn’t the case and he was despatched packing after his last-ditch authorized problem fell by way of.
Reports emerged final week Djokovic was “in talks” to sue for $6 million over his “ill treatment” however Mr Tiley denied the 34-year-old was planning any authorized motion in opposition to TA.
“No. I mean there is going to be lots of reports on different things but we … are focused on delivering an event right now, and we will continue to deliver a great event,” he advised the ABC when requested about rumours of Djokovic planning to sue.
Mr Tiley reiterated TA was “constantly asking questions, asking for help” and “constantly sought that clarity” from related authorities about getting unvaccinated gamers like Djokovic into the nation, however there was “so much complexity and so much contradiction”.
Many questioned why TA pushed forward with getting Djokovic to Australia, particularly after letters from Health Minister Greg Hunt to TA explaining contracting Covid prior to now six months was not grounds for a vaccination exemption have been made public.
The TA chief mentioned “forever-changing conditions” and miscommunication with the Government contributed to the debacle.