Emma Raducanu is the latest tennis player to offer her thoughts on the Novak Djokovic visa debacle which has dominated headlines ahead of next week’s Australian Open.
Djokovic was initially granted a medical exemption by Tennis Australia to compete in the first Grand Slam of the season, despite not being vaccinated against coronavirus.
However, upon his arrival at Melbourne Airport, he was detained and forced to quarantine, before a judge ruled in his favour.
The world number one then had his visa cancelled again but his lawyers immediately appealed the ruling from the Australian government.
Now, the 20-time major champion is awaiting the result of his appeal, which is expected tomorrow.
If the appeal is unsuccessful, Djokovic will be forced to leave the country and is likely to face a three-year ban from travelling to Australia, unless the government decides otherwise
Djokovic’s situation has consumed the spotlight in recent days and a number of players have offered their thoughts on the matter.
Spanish legend Rafael Nadal admitted he was “tired” of the situation and emphasised the game of tennis is bigger than one individual.
“Honestly I’m a little bit tired of the situation because I just believe that it’s important to talk about our sport, about tennis.
“I tell you one thing, it’s very clear that Novak Djokovic is one of the best players in history, without a doubt.
“But there is no one player in history that’s more important than an event, no? Players come and then go, and other players are coming. No one, even Roger, Novak, myself, Bjorn Borg who was amazing at his times, tennis will keep going.
“The Australian Open is much more important than any player. If he’s playing finally, okay. If he’s not playing, the Australian Open will be a great Australian Open with or without him. That’s my point of view.”
Raducanu has now cast her judgement and believes the drama is taking away from focusing on the actual performances of tennis players right now.
The US Open champion stressed that little had been made of her compatriot Andy Murray, who reached his first ATP Tour final since 2019 in Sydney.
“I feel like the situation has taken away a little bit from the great tennis that’s been happening over this summer in Australia,” said the teenager.
“For example, Andy Murray, he’s in the final tonight, which I think is pretty incredible. To see him come back and win and play so well, definitely rooting for him later on.”
Raducanu will make her debut at the Australian Open next week against former US Open winner Sloane Stephens.
So far this season, the Brit has struggled and lost 6-0 6-1 to Elena Rybakina in the opening round of the Sydney Tennis Classic.
Meanwhile, Murray faces world number 22 Nikoloz Basilashvili –– a player he beat this week in Sydney.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding his participation, Djokovic has been included in the draw and is scheduled to face fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanović.