Australian Open in ‘utter chaos’ with Novak Djokovic deported – ‘Sickening to watch’

Novak Djokovic: Martina Navratilova addresses situation

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The Australian Open has gone from being the “happy slam” to “utter chaos” in a matter of a few years, according to Lindsay Davenport. Novak Djokovic’s chances of winning a record 21st Grand Slam title were put to bed on Sunday after Judge Anthony Kelly ruled in favour of the Australian government to have the world No 1 deported.

It brought an end to what turned out to be an ugly saga on both ends with numerous reports emerging over Djokovic’s mistakes in his visa paperwork along with mixed statements from Tennis Australia and the country’s government.

In a week which was building up to the first slam of 2022, all the focus was on whether Djokovic would play in the tournament or not.

ATP stars such as Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray were – and are still – continually being asked about Djokovic’s saga.

There have been a few – such as Nick Kyrgios – who have come out in support of Djokovic since the Serbian was deported.

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But Djokovic now faces a three-year ban with the very real possibility that he may never play Down Under again.

The 11-day saga appeared to overshadow the upcoming Grand Slam, which officially got underway on Monday with the likes of Nadal, Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff in action.

The Rod Laver Arena has played host to some extraordinary matches over the past decade, but that has been overshadowed by decisions made during the pandemic.

And former world No 1 Davenport feels it has been “sickening to watch” with plenty of people to blame.


“We’ve talked about the Australian Open, I don’t know, the last 10-12 years about what an amazing happy Slam,” she said on Tennis Channel.

“We’ve had Serena win over her sister Venus while pregnant, we had Roger and Rafa’s five-set final.

“We’ve had some of the most historic matches and the last two years have been absolute utter chaos.

“From players last year getting off a plane being told, ‘you can’t leave your room for 14/15 days’ to this year possibly our greatest champion being detained at the airport for eight hours then being sent to a detention, jail-like hotel.

“It has been a mess and there has been so many mistakes on every level from Novak himself filling paperwork incorrectly from exposing others if he was positive with Covid to also TA and the government of Australia for allowing all these mistakes to happen.

“It’s been sickening to watch.”

Djokovic has since left Australia and touched down in Dubai, where he was greeted by dozens of fans.

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