Novak Djokovic news: Could the Serb lose sponsors after his deportation from Australia?

Australian Open
Novak Djokovic in action during an ATP Tour match

The ramifications of Novak Djokovic’s deportation from Australia rumble on, with his bad news continuing to roll in for the world number one.

Djokovic left Australia on Sunday after failing in his last legal appeal to avoid eviction from the country after his visa was cancelled due to his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

With Djokovic liable to be blocked from entering Australia for the next three years unless he is given special dispensation, it has now emerged that French authorities are also set to introduce a vaccine mandate for all sportspeople from this point forward.

That will put Djokovic’s hopes of defending his French Open title in doubt and he may also be blocked from exerting America unless he changes his stance on vaccines.

Now his lead sponsor Lacoste has suggested they are seeking to speak with Djokovic as they assess the fall-out from a story that has caused a negative stir around the world in recent weeks.

“The Australian authorities have cancelled the visa of Novak Djokovic. As a result, it will not be possible for him to participate in the Australian Open,” read a statement from the sportswear brand.

“As soon as possible, we will be in touch with Novak Djokovic to review the events that have accompanied his presence in Australia.

“We wish everyone an excellent tournament and thank the organisers for all their efforts to ensure that the tournament is held in good conditions for players, staff and spectators.”

Djokovic is not expected to make any further comment on his deportation in the coming days, as debate rumbles on over whether he can continue his tennis career without being vaccinated.

Tennis365 spoke to seven-time Grand Slam champion Justine Henin about what comes next for Djokovic, as she suggested the Serb has always faced a losing popularity battle against his great rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“It has always been tough for Novak in terms of image and reputation,” former world number one Henin told Tennis365 in an exclusive interview in association with Eurosport.

“We have these two guys who look perfect to everyone because of their attitude on the court, their elegance. Novak has not been respected enough in terms of being a tennis player, as what he has accomplished has been unbelievable, but it has always been difficult for him.

“He went through really tough things in the last two years and life sometimes is a fight. He was disqualified at the US Open… but he is strong. Maybe he will get tired (of the fight) one day.”

The Australian Open will be live on discovery+ and Eurosport for the next two weeks.

Latest