Andy Murray ‘won’t kick Novak Djokovic when he’s down’ after Australia cancels Serbian’s visa

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Andy Murray is through to the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic (Hamish Blair/AP) (AP)
Andy Murray is through to the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic (Hamish Blair/AP) (AP)

Andy Murray has refused to criticise Novak Djokovic after the world No 1’s Australian visa was cancelled for a second time, saying: “I’m not going to start kicking Novak whilst he’s down.”

Immigration minister Alex Hawke intervened on Friday to revoke Djokovic’s visa on public health grounds, after the unvaccinated tennis player had fought for an exemption to Australia’s strict rules on visitors being vaccinated against Covid-19.

After winning a thrilling match at the ATP to reach the final, defeating Reilly Opelka 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, Murray reiterated his point that the visa saga has been negative for everyone involved.

“It’s not a good situation. I’m not going to sit here and start kicking Novak whilst he’s down,” Murray said. “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 sort 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 how long that takes, and can he still be out practising whilst that process is going on or still competing in the tournament?

“I just want it obviously to get resolved. I think it could be good for everyone if that was the case. It just seems like it’s dragged on for quite a long time now and it’s not great for tennis, not great for the Australian Open, not great for Novak. Obviously a lot of people have criticised the government here, as well. It’s not been good.”

Djokovic is set to appeal against this latest decision, but time is running out with the tournament due to start on Monday.

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