Novak Djokovic news: ATP statement on ‘deeply regrettable series of events’

Novak Djokovic in the back of a car

The ATP says the decision to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa “must be respected”, but admits the world No 1’s “absence from the Australian Open is a loss for the game”.

The nine-time Melbourne champion won’t defend his title this year after the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia unanimously upheld Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to revoke Djokovic’s visa for a second time.

Sunday’s ruling comes on the back of two weeks of controversy, which started when Djokovic announced that he was granted an exemption to compete at the hard-court major.

However, he was detained upon his arrival before the Australian Border Force revoked his visa only for Judge Anthony Kelly to quash the cancellation.

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Hawke then used his special powers to cancel the visa for a second time, which Djokovic again challenged in court, but the matter has come to a conclusion as the Serbian has confirmed he won’t challenge the latest court decision.

The men’s tennis association, the ATP, lamented the series of events, but added they hope to see him back on court soon.

The statement read: “Today’s decision to uphold Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa cancellation marks the end of a deeply regrettable series of events. Ultimately, decisions of legal authorities regarding matters of public health must be respected. More time is required to take stock of the facts and to take the learnings from this situation.

“Irrespective of how this point has been reached, Novak is one of our sport’s greatest champions and his absence from the Australian Open is a loss for the game. We know how turbulent the recent days have been for Novak and how much he wanted to defend his title in Melbourne. We wish him well and look forward to seeing him back on court soon.

“ATP continues to strongly recommend vaccination to all players.”