- Craig Tiley, the director of the Australian Open, has warned spectators against booing Djokovic
- Djokovic is making his Grand Slam comeback one year after his dramatic deportation
- He was first detained before being deported
Craig Tiley, the director of the Australian Open, has warned spectators that if they harass Novak Djokovic beyond bounds, they will be ejected.
Djokovic is making his Grand Slam comeback one year after being in the epicentre of a vaccine storm in Melbourne. Djokovic spent many days in a quarantine hotel upon his arrival before being ultimately deported from Australia in 2022 due to his lack of Covid-19 vaccination.
There was also a visa mix-up that made his case harder in Melbourne with Australian Border officials. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke ordered for his deportation in what became the biggest tennis controversy in Australia.
Adelaide, gave Djokovic a warm welcome in 2023, but Melbourne, which saw the longest lockdown in history due to Covid-19 restrictions, is likely to be hostile.
Tiley has, however, given a caution to fans who plan to jeer Djokovic. The Australian Open director, in an interview with The Herald Sun said he would be firm.
“If they disrupt the enjoyment of anyone else – boom, they are out,’’ he “We don’t want them on site. They can stay away or we will kick them out,” Tiley stated.
Djokovic will be welcomed back in Melbourne, according to Tiley, who said he had been in touch with him. He said Djokovic greatly enjoyed Adelaide and he is looking forward to having the same time in Melbourne.
According to Tiley, the educated sports enthusiasts in Melbourne are among the best. Excellence is what they value and he has a good feeling that Melbourne’s supporters will be just as good as those in Adelaide.
On Wednesday, Djokovic faced Daniil Medvedev in a scrimmage at Rod Laver Arena. It was all smooth, and there will be no explicit “boo policy,” to be implemented according to Tiley, although anyone who boos Djokovic will have to leave the arena.
Stan Wawrinka, a former Australian Open champion, believes that fans should be allowed to express their emotions, nevertheless.
He further told The Herald Sun that they should only be kicked out if they exceed the limit. Before then, they should do whatever they want.
Fans consistently boo one person and shout for another based on whether they like them or not, and this happens with every player.
Wawrinka implores that while booing and shouting is part of tennis, Djokovic made many mistakes in 2022, and he should be ready to deal with the repercussions.
On his part, Djokovic says it’s hard to forget such moments because being in Melbourne in 2022 was such a disaster in his career.
“You can’t forget those events. It’s something I have never experienced before and hopefully never again but it is a valuable life experience for me and something that will stay there. But I have to move on,” Eurosport reports.
The detention and subsequent deportation a year ago was difficult for him, his family, and the team. It still hurts him that he had to leave Australia in such a manner and he hope things will get better for him this year.