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Sport: Tennis-Australia boss Tiley gets board backing after Djokovic debacle

Australia cancels Novak Djokovic's visa over COVID vaccine policy

  Australia cancels Novak Djokovic's visa over COVID vaccine policy Djokovic had been stuck in an airport due to issues related to his COVID vaccine exemption for the Australian Open."Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia," the border force said.

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Tennis Australia's (TA) board has backed embattled chief executive Craig Tiley amid calls for him to be sacked following world number one Novak Djokovic's deportation from Australia.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley removes his mask during the draw for the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne © Reuters/POOL Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley removes his mask during the draw for the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne

Multiple Australian news outlets called on the board to fire Tiley after world number one Djokovic was cleared to play in the Australian Open without COVID vaccination but then had his visa cancelled twice by authorities.

The saga embarrassed the tennis association and completely overshadowed the buildup to the tournament but Tiley denied TA was at fault in an interview with the Grand Slam's TV rights holder this month.

Vax-Mandate Protesters Gather in Australia to Back Detained Tennis Superstar Novak Djokovic

  Vax-Mandate Protesters Gather in Australia to Back Detained Tennis Superstar Novak Djokovic The protesters numbered about a dozen, and reportedly had an audience only of the police and a reporter.The group stationed itself outside of the facility, which is actually a quarantine hotel in Melbourne in which Djokovic, 34, must remain until his deportation. The protesters reportedly numbered only about one dozen people, and the only reported audience were a few reporters and some police officers standing outside the hotel.

"The board and Member Associations commend the Tennis Australia CEO and the entire Tennis Australia team for their hard work and dedication to delivering a spectacular summer of tennis," Tennis Australia chairwoman Jayne Hrdlicka said in a statement on Tuesday.

"As the Australian tennis family, we recognise that recent events have been a significant distraction for everyone, and we deeply regret the impact this had on all players."

Djokovic applied for an exemption from Australia's requirement for visitors to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and was granted one after it was considered by a Tennis Australia panel and a second panel of government health experts.

Though given a visa to fly to Australia and play at the Grand Slam, the Serbian defending champion had it cancelled on arrival and was put in detention by government officials.

Djokovic was freed after winning a court case, but was detained again after Australia's immigration minister cancelled his visa for a second time. He was deported on Sunday after losing a court case to review the minister's decision.

After the player's first detention, Tiley told the Nine Network that he hoped Djokovic could play at the Grand Slam but has declined to comment publicly on the affair since.

The TA board said it would review all aspects of its preparations for the tournament as usual.

"That process always starts once the Australian Open champions have lifted their trophies," it said.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom, Editing by Ed Osmond)

Tiley says Djokovic plans return for Australian Open in 2023 .
Novak Djokovic intends to play the Australian Open in 2023, tournament chief Craig Tiley said Sunday while blaming "miscommunication" for his deportation ahead of this year's event. The world number one's visa was cancelled ahead of the season-opening Grand Slam over his Covid-19 vaccination status, an incident that tarred the lead-up. He flew out of Melbourne a week ago after failing in a last-gasp bid to stay and target a record 21st major title following a protracted legal battle with Australian authorities.

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