Former seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander revealed he was “surprised and shocked” after Novak Djokovic lost his Australia visa appeal.
On Sunday, Djokovic lost his Australia visa appeal and was deported from the country.
The Djokovic visa saga reached its end after 10 long days.
“I’m surprised and I’m shocked. I’m a little bit exhausted as well because we have been hearing about this for a week,” Wilander told Eurosport.
“I give Novak a lot of credit for trying but at the same time he knew there might be the possibility that with the rules you have to be vaccinated. But you also have to think about the other players – they have been asked about this for the whole time they have been in Australia. But the big thing for me, the best tennis players in the world, they are globally famous people and this has really been one of the biggest stories this year.
“It’s sad news, but we will have a new winner.”
Wilander thinks the Djokovic visa decision was fair
The Australian Open introduced mandatory vaccination for all participants at the 2022 event.
Djokovic refused to get vaccinated before the start of the season but was granted a medical exemption for the Australian Open.
“Do I think it’s fair? Well I think it’s fair [because] millions of people have died from Covid around the world and Australia has decided to go into full lockdown for most of the time. Australians have been suffering both mentally and physically of course like everybody else, so I think in the end Novak tried everything he could and I think it was very difficult to go back on what they [the Australian government] said at first,” Wilander added.
Djokovic is a record nine-time Australian Open champion.
Djokovic won’t be able to defend his title and in a statement he said he would take his time before deciding his next step.