Djokovic: “I won’t resign”, Australian Open chief Tiley vows

Mr Tiley spoke after the federal court published the written reasons for rejecting Djokovic’s appeal to remain in Australia.

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Craig Tiley

Australian Open chief executive Craig Tiley has vowed not to stand down from his position over the handling of the Novak Djokovic case.

He has gone on rather to refute claims that Tennis Australia funded the world number one’s legal expenses.

Mr Tiley spoke after the federal court published the written reasons for rejecting Djokovic’s appeal to remain in Australia.

The court said it was “plainly open” to Immigration Minister Alex Hawke that the reigning Australian Open champion was opposed to a COVID-19 vaccination.

Mr Djokovic failed in his second bid to overturn a decision from the government to cancel his visa on public health grounds at the Federal Court in Melbourne on Sunday.

This was a day before the Australian Open started.

The 20-time grand slam winner arrived back in Belgrade on Monday, bringing an end to a saga that began after he was held at an airport in Melbourne on January 6.

He was detained due to his travel declaration form containing incorrect information.

It was then reported this week that Tennis Australia covered all of Djokovic’s legal fees.

But Mr Tiley – who was jeered by spectators on Thursday while on the court to present flowers to the retiring Samantha Stosur – denied that was the case.

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“I have seen those reports and we don’t really go into the details of financial arrangements we have with players,” he said. “But those reports are simply untrue.”

Asked if he intended to step aside as chief executive due to the perceived mishandling of the saga, Mr Tiley replied “no.”

He then turned focus to the remainder of the tournament.

“I am very focused today on delivering a great event,” he said. “I am proud of being able to stand up here and you can see what is behind us. I am proud of what the team has done and what we have delivered so far.”

Mr Djokovic won his first appeal to avoid deportation from Australia, but Mr Hawke used separate powers to cancel the 34-year-old’s visa again.

 

(dpa/NAN)

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