Alex Corretja on Novak Djokovic drama: Mess, shame and difficult to understand

Former world No. 2 Alex Corretja is sorry to see what is happening to Novak Djokovic in Australia. 

Djokovic announced on Tuesday he was granted a medical exemption for the Australian Open and he landed in Melbourne on January 5. 

Djokovic spent nine hours at the Melbourne Airport before he was told his visa was cancelled and to leave the country. 

“Wow, what a mess. What a shame. What a pity for everyone, especially for Novak. Especially for tennis,” Corretja told Eurosport.

“If you agree with the exemption or not, apparently there are other players that have got an exemption, and nobody cares about it; nobody talks about it. It is obvious that, because it is Novak, everybody talks about him.

‘Djokovic was perfectly clean to play’

Djokovic received the exemption but then Australian authorities got involved and the whole drama followed. 

“I think Novak has the right to ask for an exemption. If they decided to give it to him, he was perfectly clean to play. It was not his choice,” Corretja added.

“If they had said, ‘no, sorry, you have to get vaccinated, otherwise you’re not going to play the Australian Open’, then he could have decided whether he plays or not, depending on whether he wants to get vaccinated, which is his choice.

“We cannot just look at the medical exemption because they did that already. So, if you want to blame someone, if you are given the right to play after asking for the exemption, then you are free to play.

“It is very difficult to understand the exemption decision from the outside because we don’t have the information. There should be more transparency from all aspects, including Novak and the tournament.

“There is a lot that is very difficult to understand. It is a real shame.”

Djokovic has appealed the decision and he will stay in Melbourne isolated in his room. 

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