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