ATP

'Do better' – Kyrgios criticises response to Djokovic's situation

By Sports Desk January 07, 2022

Nick Kyrgios has labelled the reaction to and handling of Novak Djokovic's predicament as "really bad".

Djokovic faces deportation from Australia after having had his visa application cancelled.

The world number one has not revealed his vaccination status against COVID-19, but was set to compete at the Australian Open under a medical exemption.

That decision called uproar in Australia, which has been under strict lockdown restrictions for much of the pandemic.

However, Djokovic was denied entry into Australia upon his arrival at Melbourne airport, with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying the 20-time grand slam champion would be on "the next plane home" if he failed to produce a sufficient reason for his medical exemption.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley insisted that the 20-time major champion had not been given a "special favour" to play in the tournament, though the decision faced immediate and widespread backlash.

Djokovic is currently hauled up in a hotel after an interim injunction hearing was pushed back to Monday at 10am local time, with Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly ruling that the Serbian could not be deported until at least 4pm on Monday, local time.

Several of Djokovic's fellow players, including Rafael Nadal, have criticised the 34-year-old's stance and the decision to initially allow him to compete.

Yet Kyrgios, who has never seen eye to eye with Djokovic, has not joined those critics, and instead hit out at how Australia, and the media, have handled the situation.

"Look I definitely believe in taking action, I got vaccinated because of others and for my mum's health, but how we are handling Novak’s situation is bad, really bad," Kyrgios tweeted on Friday.

"Like these memes, headlines, this is one of our great champions but at the end of the day, he is human. Do better."

Kyrgios said in November that he believed the Australian Open should be cancelled if it was mandated that competitors would have to be vaccinated.

 "I don't think the Aus Open should go ahead, just for the people in Melbourne – you’ve got to send a message," Kyrgios said on his 'No Boundaries' podcast at the time.

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