DAccording to his coach, the expulsion from Australia mentally took the Serbian tennis pro Novak Djokovic with him. The world number one was “certainly hit mentally badly. It will hurt him for a long time and it will be difficult for him to get it out of his head,” said Slovak Marian Vajda in an interview with the newspaper “Sport” published in Bratislava on Friday.
But he knows the 20-time Grand Slam tournament winner “well enough to know: Novak is strong, unshakable and he has not yet spoken his last word in tennis,” emphasized Vajda.
“Stunned that something like this was possible”
He sharply criticized the Australian government and international media. He called the decision against the 34-year-old Djokovic a “political process”. The situation in Australia is “totally sick and unfair, a direct result of the country’s long isolation. Australia is now paying the price for its lockdown policy and has such high infection numbers despite its strict vaccination policy. But above all it was the media that influenced public opinion so negatively against Novak.”
The Slovak has been looking after Djokovic with a short break since 2006 and alternates with Goran Ivanisevic in the tournament accompaniment. That’s why Vajda wasn’t there in Melbourne. Asked about his first feelings upon receiving the news of Djokovic’s expulsion, Vajda replied: “Shock, pain, great emotion. I don’t know how I would have endured it psychologically if I had been there myself. Even at home in Bratislava, I couldn’t sleep for bewilderment that something like this was possible.”
Djokovic, who was not vaccinated against the corona virus, had to leave Australia because he had failed to appeal against the cancellation of his visa before the federal court. He came because he wanted to take part in the Australian Open with a medical exemption. However, upon entry, his visa had been annulled.