It will probably be days, weeks and months until the vast majority of those involved (directly or indirectly) in everything that has happened with respect to Novak Djokovic and their deportation from Australia decide to speak out and expose their version of events. The arrival of number one to Melbourne brought a lot of queue, endless news, rumors and decisions of all kinds of estates that, finally, led to one of the most unusual decisions experienced in the world of sports: the cancellation of Novak’s visa, ratified in a trial, after the Immigration Minister Australian exercised its powers and decided to cancel that visa because the Serbian was a “danger to public health and order”.
According to Hawke, Djokovic could incite a spread of anti-vaccine sentiment in Melbourne. To do this, he hid behind the perception of the general population around his figure and the possible relationship he had with following the rules and protocols against the COVID-19. Said argument, supported and ratified by the court, does not seem to have sat well with one of the people who best knows the number one in the world. He was not physically in Melbourne, but he communicated with him on many occasions. Marian Vajda awaited the news of the case from his home, in Bratislava, waiting for a positive resolution for the interests of his pupil, in a situation in which he had never been involved. After several weeks without saying a peep, Vajda, a member of Novak’s team who has rarely left particularly incendiary statements, has decided to expose in Sport.sk his version of the events, recount how he communicated with the Serbian and talk about the possible consequences of what happened in the oceanic country.
Why did you not speak out on this issue before and what was your first reaction after the arrest?
“I needed to calm down, let my thoughts be in my head. I still don’t understand why they did this to him. I haven’t assimilated this injustice for a long time. In addition, the press is one of the biggest culprits for manipulating information, and in Australia in particular they have taken a constant attitude against Novak. My first reaction was shock, suffering, a lot of emotions. I don’t even want to think about how I would have dealt with it mentally if I had been there. Even being at home, in Bratislava, I I’ve also experienced it in a certain way; I couldn’t believe that something like this was happening, I couldn’t sleep well. Everyone knows that he had traveled with a single objective: to play in the first Grand Slam of the year and defend the title”.
How did you contact Nole
“We wrote to each other, we didn’t talk on the phone. He used his mobile phone very little, I sent him messages of encouragement and collected messages. I can’t think how he managed all this, he must have suffered a lot. He humbly endured all the measures, but what they have done to him must have marked him. It has been a political process. It will definitely have significant consequences, it will be very difficult to speak again or review all this. He also experienced an invasion of his privacy, like his family. “
Why has he not received the broad solidarity of the players
“Yes it is true that, at the same time, many people have written to him and they have also written to me and they are sorry for what has happened to him. However, those people are not going to speak publicly. Nowhere can you read about every night that Novak has spent on the computer, debating with many players about their conditions on the circuit, how he can help them and what he can do with them. Remember last year, in which he even got exercise bikes sent to the rooms of the players confined in Melbourne. During the whole pandemic, he has fought for them. I also have the feeling that many players do not have enough sources of information, because the press confuses them and makes them be against Djokovic.”
Decisions of the tournaments, including Roland Garros, to announce that they will not let the unvaccinated enter
“I do not understand them, and I do not understand why it is important for them to announce this type of thing now when, for example, they will not be played until May. The world still does not know what is going to happen with the pandemic or in a month. How are we going and how are we going to protect ourselves? I don’t want to underestimate this whole situation, it is a very serious thing that is happening all over the world, but what is the reason why we have to discuss it in January? “
Djokovic’s next plans?
“I still haven’t talked to him since he arrived in Belgrade. No one knows. He will talk when he sees fit. It’s very clear that this has affected him mentally, that it’s going to hurt him for quite some time and that it’s going to be difficult for him to put it out of my mind. However, I know my ward very well. Novak is strong, firm and has not yet said his last word in the world of tennis“.