Defending champion and nine-time winner Novak Djokovic has been forced to withdraw from the Australian Open as his visa has once again been cancelled.
The ATP Tour, the governing body for men’s professional tennis, had this to say on Sunday regarding the world No. 1.
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.
Italian lucky loser Salvatore Caruso (ranked No. 150 in the world) will take Djokovic’s place in the main draw. Caruso will face Djokovic’s countryman Miomir Kecmanovic in round one action on Monday in Melbourne, Australia.