Reaction to Novak Djokovic's canceled visa in Australia

  • FILE - Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Djokovic has had his visa canceled and been denied entry to Australia, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, and is set to be removed from the country after spending the night at the Melbourne airport as officials refused to let him enter the country for the Australian Open after an apparent visa mix-up.

    FILE - Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Djokovic has had his visa canceled and been denied entry to Australia, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, and is set to be removed from the country after spending the night at the Melbourne airport as officials refused to let him enter the country for the Australian Open after an apparent visa mix-up. Associated Press

  • Australian Open courtesy cars parked outside Melbourne Airport ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. Serbia's Novak Djokovic had received the medical exemption he needed to play at the Australian Open but the tennis champion had his visa cancelled and was prevented from entering the country.

    Australian Open courtesy cars parked outside Melbourne Airport ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. Serbia's Novak Djokovic had received the medical exemption he needed to play at the Australian Open but the tennis champion had his visa cancelled and was prevented from entering the country. Associated Press

  • FILE - Serbia's Novak Djokovic poses with Norman Brookes Challenge Cup the day after after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Djokovic has had his visa canceled and been denied entry to Australia, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, and is set to be removed from the country after spending the night at the Melbourne airport as officials refused to let him enter the country for the Australian Open after an apparent visa mix-up.

    FILE - Serbia's Novak Djokovic poses with Norman Brookes Challenge Cup the day after after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Djokovic has had his visa canceled and been denied entry to Australia, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, and is set to be removed from the country after spending the night at the Melbourne airport as officials refused to let him enter the country for the Australian Open after an apparent visa mix-up. Associated Press

 
 
Posted1/6/2022 7:00 AM

BRISBANE, Australia -- Reaction from social media and elsewhere to the Australian government denying No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic entry and the cancellation of his visa because he failed to meet the requirements for an exemption to COVID-19 vaccination rules:

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'The world has been suffering enough to not follow the rules.' - Rafael Nadal, who is tied with Djokovic and Roger Federer with 20 Grand Slam singles titles.

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'If he had a fair exemption from the rule, well, he should be here; if he didn't, he shouldn't be here.' - Daniil Medvedev, who is ranked No. 2 behind Djokovic on the men's tour

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'I told our Novak that the whole of Serbia is with him and that our bodies are doing everything to see that the harassment of the world's best tennis player is brought to an end immediately.' - statement from Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

'He played by the rules, he got his exemption, he's a nine-time champion, whether people like it or not he's entitled to fair play. He doesn't make the rules. He deserves his day on court, not in court in my opinion"- Paul McNamee, who was the Australian Open tournament director for 12 years.

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'Not the most usual trip from Down Under' - Djokovic's coach and 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, on social media during an overnight wait at the Melbourne airport.

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'Just to be crystal clear here. 2 separate medical boards approved his exemption. And politicians are stopping it. Australia doesn't deserve to host a grand slam.' -- two-time quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren of the United States, who is not playing the Australian Open this year because of the vaccination requirement, on Twitter.

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'I think it might get ugly . . . if he's got a reason for (the exemption) then . . . we should know it,' - tennis legend Rod Laver, in comments shortly before Djokovic's arrival in Australia.

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'Mr. Djokovic's visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant.' - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on Twitter.

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More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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