April 14, 2024

Open Court


Visa-Gate is a mess, but many share the blame

MELBOURNE, Australia – Whenever Novak Djokovic gets sprung from the cut-rate detention centre he’s in this weekend, you’d have to think heads are going to roll.

Probably Tennis Australia heads.

Because if he loses his appeal early next week before the federal courts, not only will be not be able to play the Australian Open, he’ll also officially be deported.

And that automatically carries an exclusion period (of up to three years). Not to mention, every time you fill out a visa or a form to get into a lot of countries, when you get to that box where it says, “Have you ever been deported?”, you have to tick it.

In other words, this whole mess could cost Djokovic history, more Australian Open titles, and a few other things (including the cost of an expensive lawyer).

At the same time, as Rafael Nadal put it Thursday, it was all easily avoidable.

Here’s our piece for CNN.com, outlining how there isn’t just one bad guy in this messy situation.

If that weren’t enough, several outlets are reporting that a second player, Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic, has had her visa cancelled and is also at the DjokoHotel.

Voracova, though, got through the border controls and played this week in a tournament at Melbourne Park.

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