Djokovic's coach calls Australian Open saga 'unjust'

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Serbia tennis star Novak Djokovic (Getty Images)
Serbia tennis star Novak Djokovic (Getty Images)
Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic's long-time coach Marian Vajda said Australia's deportation of the world number one was "unjust" but said the Serb had not had his "last word in tennis".

"It was a political process," the Slovak coach told the website in his first comments since Djokovic's visa was cancelled ahead of the Australian Open over his Covid-19 vaccination status.

"It was an unhealthy and unjust decision and it will definitely have significant consequences, as it was also an invasion of his privacy, his family," Vajda said in the interview published on Thursday.

Djokovic flew out of Melbourne last Sunday after he failed in a last-gasp court bid to stay and play in the opening Grand Slam tournament of the year, where he was targeting a record 21st major title.

His dramatic departure followed a protracted, high-stakes legal battle between the player and Australian authorities that cast a shadow over the tournament.

Vajda said he was "shocked" by the decision to deport Djokovic.

Djokovic's refusal to be vaccinated could compromise his participation at the year's three other Grand Slams, with question marks over his future plans.

"It is clear that the whole situation hit him mentally," said Vajda. "It will hurt him for a long time and it will be difficult to get it out of his head."

He insisted Djokovic would survive the setback.

"Novak is strong, steadfast and has not yet said his last word in tennis," Vajda said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Would you be keen to see the Springboks join the Six Nations?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes! The Northern Hemisphere is the future.
52% - 2388 votes
No! The Rugby Championship is still the pinnacle.
48% - 2197 votes