Novak Djokovic ‘hit mentally’ and ‘hurt’ by Australia deportation, says coach

Djokovic could have won his 21st Grand Slam had he been allowed to stay in Australia

Sarah Rendell
Friday 21 January 2022 10:43
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<p>Novak Djokovic was deported earlier this week(Mark Baker/AP)</p>

Novak Djokovic was deported earlier this week(Mark Baker/AP)

Novak Djokovic has been “hit mentally” after being deported from Australia which prevented him for bidding for a record Grand Slam, according to his coach.

Djokovic’s visa was cancelled after he lost his appeal in the Federal Court of Australia following immigration minister Alex Hawke revoking the document for a second time. The Serb had originally travelled to the country with a medical exemption but was detained when he arrived. He won an inital appeal but later lost his fight to stay.

Marian Vajda has been Djokovic’s coach throughout the majority of his career and has said the Australia situation was a “political process”.

He told Sport Klub : “I still don’t understand why they did it to him. It was an unhealthy and unjust decision, based on the assumption that Djokovic could do or influence something that has not yet happened.

“I haven’t communicated with him since he arrived in Belgrade. It is clear that that it hit him mentally, it will hurt him for a long time and it will be difficult to get it out of his head.

“We wrote to each other, we haven’t spoken over the phone. He used his mobile phone a little. I can’t imagine how he handled it, it must have been a huge suffering. He humbly endured all measures, but what they did to him must mark him. It was a political process.”

The reasons behind Djokovic’s deportation were revealed on Thursday. One of the ground the tennis star had appealed on was it was unreasonable to say he was anti-vaccination but the judges said: “It was plainly open to the minister to infer that Mr Djokovic had chosen not to be vaccinated because he was opposed to vaccination or did not wish to be vaccinated.

“It was also open to the minister to infer that the public would view his attitude as the media had portrayed: that he was unwilling to be vaccinated.”

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