Sydney [Australia], January 8 (ANI): Australia tennis player Nick Kyrgios on Saturday said that the visa controversy will make Novak Djokovic more determined to do well in the Australian Open if he wins the legal battle.
The Australian Open organisers granted a medical exemption to vaccine-sceptic Djokovic after which he jetted into Melbourne on Wednesday. However, on landing the nine-time Australian Open champion spent eight hours in detention at Melbourne Airport where he unsuccessfully pleaded his case to border officials.
"All I'm saying is, if he's allowed to play Australian Open, I don't want any bar of him. I reckon he's going to be pissed off, very determined to play well and stick it to everyone. I don't want any bar of that Novak. This is just all added fuel for him. In my opinion, we all know how good of a competitor he is. You don't become a great champion like that without being able to overcome adversity like this," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Kyrgios as saying.
"I'm sure he's overcome a lot more challenging times than spending a couple more extra days in a hotel room. Look, all I'm saying is, he's going to be dangerous if he's on court at the Australian Open. I don't want to play him right now, that's for sure. Someone else can have that task," he added.
Djokovic on Friday had thanked people for their support since he was refused entry to Australia over his COVID-19 vaccine status.
"Thank you to people around the world for your continuous support. i can feel it and it is greatly appreciated," the Serbian, who is in a detention facility in Melbourne awaiting an appeal, said on Instagram.
On Thursday, Djokovic won his court bid and as a result, there was no immediate deportation, allowing the defending Australian Open champion to stay in Melbourne until at least Monday.
"I'm Nick Kyrgios, bro, I'm a tennis player. It's not my job to comment on all of this. Put it this way, I think the media has done a poor, poor job. If someone has an opinion you're either for or against it. Obviously, it's a bit of a mess what's going on, and I just don't think we've gone about it in the right way," said Kyrgios.
"It's just too much at this point. I hope it all gets sorted as soon as possible. For the sport, we need him here. It's that simple. He's one of the most influential sportspeople of all time. For the sport, as I said, if he's ready and allowed to play, in a way, I think it's good for our sport with all this attention," he added.
Notably, the 34-year-old world number one had been granted a medical exemption to play in the AO 2022 for unspecified reasons, which created a huge uproar. Djokovic's exemption was given by two independent medical panels organised by Tennis Australia, the body that runs the event, and Victoria state. (ANI)