The ATP has described the fiasco involving Novak Djokovic’s entry into Australia as "damaging on all fronts".
World No. 1 Djokovic was detained at the Australian border and held for four days after it was decided that his medical exemption from the coronavirus vaccination to enter the country was not sufficient.
Following an appeal, the decision to cancel his visa was overturned and the Serb was released before stating his intention to compete at the Australian Open, which begins on January 17.
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"Complications in recent days related to player entry into Australia have however highlighted the need for clearer understanding, communication and application of the rules," the ATP said in a statement.
“In travelling to Melbourne, it’s clear Novak Djokovic believed he had been granted a necessary medical exemption in order to comply with entry regulations.
“The series of events leading to Monday’s court hearing have been damaging on all fronts, including for Novak's well-being and preparation for the Australian Open.
Player medical exemption requests are made independently of ATP, however we have been in constant contact with Tennis Australia to seek clarity throughout this process.
“We welcome the outcome of Monday’s hearing and look forward to an exciting few weeks of tennis ahead.”
Djokovic’s vaccination status has long been a mystery with the player previously refusing to confirm or deny whether he had taken the necessary jab against the virus.
However, during his border interview, the 20-time Grand Slam winner confirmed he was not vaccinated.
The ATP added that they have encouraged all players on the tour to take up the inoculation.
“More broadly, ATP continues to strongly recommend vaccination for all players on the ATP Tour, which we believe is essential for our sport to navigate the pandemic," the statement continued.
“This is based on scientific evidence supporting the health benefits provided and to comply with global travel regulations, which we anticipate will become stricter over time.
“We are encouraged that 97% of the top 100 players are vaccinated leading into this year’s Australian Open.”
Djokovic could yet still be deported from Australia, with the Immigration Minister Alex Hawke ‘considering his next move’.
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