Novak Djokovic news: ‘Shocked’ Mats Wilander shares his thoughts on ‘sad news’

Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action

“Surprised”, “shocked” and “sad” are some of the words that Mats Wilander used to describe the Novak Djokovic debacle, but he believes the court ruling to uphold the decision to cancel the world No 1’s visa for a second time was “fair”.

Nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic will not defend his title at Melbourne Park this year after three judges unanimously upheld Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to use his personal powers to revoke the Serbian’s visa.

The 34-year-old will not challenge the latest ruling as he confirmed in a statement “I respect the Court’s ruling and I’ll cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from Australia”.

Novak Djokovic news: Statement from ‘uncomfortable’ world No 1 after he loses visa appeal

Former world No 1 and seven-time Grand Slam winner Wilander offered his thoughts on the drama from the Eurosport Cube, saying: “I’m surprised and I’m shocked. I’m a little bit exhausted as well because we have been hearing about this for a week. I give Novak a lot of credit for trying but at the same time he knew there might be the possibility that with the rules you have to be vaccinated.

“But you also have to think about the other players – they have been asked about this for the whole time they have in Australia. But the big thing for me, the best tennis players in the world, they are globally famous people and this has really been one of the biggest story this year so far. It is sad news, but we will have a new winner.

“Do I think it’s fair? Well I think it’s fair – millions of people have died from COVID around the world. Australia has decided to go into full lockdown for most of the time, Australians have been suffering both mentally and physically of course like everybody else, so I think in the end Novak tried everything he could and I think it was very difficult to go back on what they said at first. The judge has to realise that maybe he is changing the history of our sport – but what can you do?”