2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli blasted the treatment Novak Djokovic received in Australia but added the Serb will ultimately have to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Djokovic landed in Melbourne on January 5 but instead of going straight to Melbourne Park he had his visa revoked and he was transported to an immigration hotel.
Djokovic appealed the decision and on Monday the judge reinstated the visa of the world No. 1.
“I am pleased for tennis, I am pleased because I thought and I think the tennis community, why they spoke about it, the conditions and the way he has been traded was really, really not fair at all for him,” Bartoli told the BBC Radio 5 Live.
“And I think that was the whole point behind what Novak was pleading today, it’s, you know, regardless the fact that we are against or for the vaccine, which is another broader conversation, I think we should have especially for Novak going further down the year.
“Because he will have to face several time those problems.”
Bartoli thinks Djokovic will have to take the jab
Djokovic was granted a medical exemption for the Australian Open and for now found a solution to play one of the biggest tennis events.
“So I think bottom line he will have to get the vaccine, but for these time for Australia, he got the visa and they flew in with all the best intention and having done all the work he should have done beforehand to give all the papers and getting all the exemption and I think it was the whole point of the judge today Anthony Kelly, just saying he could have not done anything better than what he did,” Bartoli added.
After Djokovic was detained, Rafael Nadal said it all could have been avoided had the Serb simply decided to take the vaccine.
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic told the BBC they stand by Djokovic but the Serbian authorities strongly advise everyone to take the vaccine.
“What matters to me is that we stand by Novak… but at the same time say that for the country and for me as the prime minister that vaccination is important,” Brnabic said.