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Tennis: No court for the Novak Djokovic

Tennis

The GIST: More men’s sports drama? Coming right up. As we discussed on yesterday’s episode of The GIST of It, after initially receiving a medical exemption to compete for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title at the upcoming Australian Open, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic was denied entry into the country.

January 07, 2022
THOMAS KRONSTEINER/GETTY IMAGES
THOMAS KRONSTEINER/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: More men’s sports drama? Coming right up. As we discussed on yesterday’s episode of The GIST of It, after initially receiving a medical exemption to compete for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title at the upcoming Australian Open, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic was denied entry into the country.

The background: In November 2021, Australian Open officials announced that only vaccinated players would be allowed to compete, a policy consistent with Australia’s strict COVID-19 restrictions.

  • But on Tuesday, Djokovic — who has not explicitly shared his vaccine status but has expressed vaccine skepticismannounced that he had received a medical exemption (assumedly for not being vaccinated) and would be eligible to compete.
  • As expected, the Australian public — who’ve been in and out of lockdown since March 2020 — were rightfully peeved, and their prime minister, Scott Morrison, was too, tweeting “Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules.” Preach.

The latest: Upon landing in Australia on Wednesday, Djokovic’s visa was rejected due to failure “to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements.” The Joker filed an appeal, but was sent to immigration detention, where he’ll remain until his appeal resumes on Monday.

  • Meanwhile, Djokovic’s rival, Rafael Nadal, who could take home his record-setting 21st Grand Slam this month, shared his views, saying, “everybody is free to take [sic] their own decisions, but then there are some consequences.” Mic drop.