Novak Djokovic news: Craig Tiley will not resign as he denies Tennis Australia is paying Serbian’s legal bill

Australian Open
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley attends a press conference

Craig Tiley insists he will not resign in the wake of the Novak Djokovic visa debacle while he has also rejected reports that Tennis Australia is stumping up the cash for the Serbian’s legal and travel expenses.

Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director Tiley has come in for criticism over the handling of Djokovic’s visa application.

The world No 1 was handed an exemption to compete at the hard-court Grand Slam after being cleared by two independent medical bodies, but it was later confirmed that his exemption was based on the fact that he contracted Covid-19 a few weeks prior to his departure to Australia.

He was given the green light to travel despite Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) guidelines stating that only fully vaccinated players would be allowed to enter the country.

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As a result, the Serbian was denied entry into the country and his visa was cancelled. He then challenged the decision and his visa was reinstated only for the Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to then use his personal powers to revoke the visa again.

Although Djokovic again took the matter to court, three judges unanimously upheld Hawke’s decision and he was deported on Sunday.

In between there was plenty of confusion over whether or not Tennis Australia failed to give the correct information to players about travelling conditions.

When asked by Channel Nine if Tennis Australia followed the correct procedure in providing guidelines to Djokovic, Tiley sidestepped the issue.

“We already addressed those questions. Today we’re just focusing on delivering Day 4 and a great event,” he said.

“You have seen how well the Aussies did today, as an example. The feedback we’re getting back from our fans on sight of the time they are having is fantastic. So we look forward to another 10 days of great tennis, and at some point there will be two great champions.”

He was then asked if he has or will consider resigning and replied: “No. We put a statement out recently. I am very focused today on delivering a great event.

“I am proud of being able to stand up here and you can see what is behind us, I am proud of what the team has done and what we have delivered so far. We have had four days of unbelievable tennis and great entertainment and we will have that for the next 10 days.”

As for reports that Tennis Australia is paying Djokovic’s legal and travelling bill, Tiley insisted it is “simply untrue”.

“I have seen those reports today and we don‘t really go into the detail of financial arrangements we have with players but those reports are simply untrue,” he said.

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