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Andy Roddick feels it would be "rough" to ban Novak Djokovic for 3 years over visa confusion, says current situation "really sucks"

Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic
Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic
Anshul Singh
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Andy Roddick has weighed in on the ongoing chaos involving Novak Djokovic and the Australian government. Roddick expressed his surprise at the communication breakdown between Tennis Australia and the Australian government, and said it would be "rough" to ban Djokovic from the country due to the confusing circumstances surrounding his visa cancelation.

Djokovic traveled to Melbourne with a medical exemption, but was detained at the airport by Border Force officials, who deemed he did not meet the entry requirements for unvaccinated individuals.

The Serb was granted a medical exemption by Tennis Australia, headed by Craig Tiley, on the basis that he had recently contracted COVID-19. However, according to Border Force officials, a prior infection is not reason enough to be granted an exemption to enter the country.

Acting Victoria Premier Jacinta Allan added fuel to the fire when she said Tiley and Tennis Australia did not inform them of a federal government letter they received which clearly stated that a prior infection would not be accepted as a reason for an exemption.

According to the law, if Djokovic fails to have his visa cancellation overturned in court and gets deported, he could be banned from entering the country for up to three years.

Former US Open champion Andy Roddick, for his part, said the situation "really sucks" and that it would be harsh to punish Djokovic so severely given the circumstances.

Acting Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan says Craig Tiley and Tennis Australia did not inform the Vic government about Morrison government letters stating a prior COVID infection - the basis for Novak Djokovic's exemption - would not be accepted as a genuine exemption @theage
"This really really sucks. Assuming this is right, [it] would be really rough to ban Novak for 3 years as are current rules for deportation. I’m curious to hear Tiley’s response. He’s always been an innovator and super on it. This is surprising and disappointing" tweeted Roddick.
This really really sucks. Assuming this is right, would be really rough to ban Novak for 3 years as are current rules for deportation. I’m curious to hear Tiley’s response. He’s always been an innovator and super on it. This is surprising, and disappointing twitter.com/paulsakkal/sta…

Roddick also said would like to hear the point of view of Craig Tiley, who he feels is "one of the smartest people in tennis."

"I’m actually shocked if today's reports are true. Tiley has been one of the smartest people in tennis for a long time. [He] is largely responsible for unreal growth for OZ Open. Unfortunate all around..." added the former World No. 1.
I’m actually shocked if todays reports are true. Tiley has been one of the smartest people in tennis for a long time. Is largely responsible for unreal growth for OZ Open. Unfortunate all around … twitter.com/rhuladsengar/s…

Craig Tiley defends Tennis Australia amid backlash over Novak Djokovic medical exemption

In a video leaked to the Sunday Herald Sun, Craig Tiley defended Tennis Australia, saying that despite a lot of "finger pointing and blaming", his team have done an "unbelievable job."

"There is a lot of finger pointing going on and a lot of blaming going on but I can assure you our team has done an unbelievable job," mentioned Tiley.
#UPDATE "There is a lot of finger pointing going on and a lot of blaming going on but I can assure you our team has done an unbelievable job," Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley says after Novak Djokovic visa crisis, in video leaked to Sunday Herald Sun https://t.co/StFV6vanzB

Tiley has yet to comment on whether he informed the Victorian government about the conditions of the medical exemption.

Novak Djokovic at the Davis Cup Finals 2021
Novak Djokovic at the Davis Cup Finals 2021

As far as Djokovic is concerned, the Serb's lawyers successfully filed for an injunction preventing him from being deported until Monday, when a final verdict on the case is expected.


Edited by Arvind Sriram
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