ATP, the governing body of men’s tennis, applauded Monday’s Australian court ruling that allowed No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic to remain in Melbourne and compete in next week’s Australian Open.
In a statement, the organization said the dispute over Djokovic’s COVID-19 vaccine medical exemption and related events were “damaging on all fronts.” The situation highlighted the need for clearer understanding and communication of the rules, ATP said.
“We welcome the outcome of Monday’s hearing and look forward to an exciting few weeks of tennis ahead,” the group said in a statement.
Judge Anthony Kelly ruled that Australia’s decision to revoke the Serbian tennis star’s visa was “unreasonable” and ordered Djokovic released from immigration detention. The government has said it was still considering another way to deport him.
“In travelling to Melbourne, it’s clear Novak Djokovic believed he had been granted a necessary medical exemption in order to comply with entry regulations,” the ATP said in a statement.
“The series of events leading to Monday’s court hearing have been damaging on all fronts, including for Novak’s well-being and preparation for the Australian Open,” said ATP, which faced criticism from some players for not speaking out in Djokovic’s defense.
The ATP added that it strongly recommends all players get vaccinated and said 97% of the top 100 players were vaccinated.