Brit legend Murray refuses to ‘kick Djokovic when he’s down’
Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has suggested that the Australian government's decision to revoke Novak Djokovic's visa in 'not great for tennis' and also strikes a blow to the Australian Open as a whole.
It's probably safe to say that Murray isn't Djokovic's biggest fan, at least in the context of the Australian Open, after losing three finals in four years to the Serbia ace between 2013 and 2016 – but the British tennis great refused to be drawn in to a debate as to Djokovic's treatment by the Australian immigration authorities as the news of the Serb's visa being revoked played out during Murray's Sydney International semi-final win against Reilly Opelka.
Speaking after his straight sets win in the Australian Open warm-up tournament, Murray said that he wasn't going to "start kicking Novak whilst he's down" amid a furious row centered around Djokovic's impending deportation from the country.
Andy Murray spoke about Novak Djokovic after his win over Reilly Opelka today. The news broke during his match."I'm not going to sit here and start kicking Novak whilst he's down. I mean, I said it the other day, it's not a good situation for anyone." pic.twitter.com/fXUhehwNoS— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) January 14, 2022
"It's not a good situation," Murray said when press on the issue by the media.
"I'm not going to sit here and start kicking Novak whilst he's down. I mean, I said it the other day, it's not a good situation for anyone.
"It's unfortunate that it's ended up in this type of situation, and who knows? I don't know what the process is from now. I don't know what route he goes down, if he can appeal that and, you know, how long that takes, and can he still be out practicing whilst that process is going on or still competing in the tournament?
"I have no idea idea what the situation is with that," Murray continued. "Yeah, I just want it obviously to get resolved. I think it would be good for everyone if that was the case. It just seems like it's dragged on for quite a long time now, and yeah, not great for tennis, not great for the Australian Open, not great for Novak.
"Yeah, obviously a lot of people have criticized the government here, as well. It's not been good."
It now appears likely that Djokovic will launch another legal challenge as to the manner of his highly-politicized deportation from Australia – but with the clock very much ticking ahead of the Serb's first scheduled match, it seems as the weight of the Australian immigration system is very much stacked against him.
As Murray states, the Australian Open may well proceed without the man who has dominated it for the past decade, winning nine championships as well as being on the doorstep of an historic 21st Grand Slam title – a win which would have put him ahead of rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the all-time list.
Instead, a Djokovic will be central to another unique twist of history – that of being banished from the tournament through which much of his legacy has been formed.
It under this veil that a new champion will be crowned; the first time since 2018 that Djokovic's name won't be etched on the silver trophy.
And as Murray states, none of this has been "great for the Australian Open".