Australian Open organizers ‘deeply regret’ impact of Djokovic saga

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FILE PHOTO: Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic practices at Melbourne Park as questions remain over the legal battle regarding his visa to play in the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, January 13, 2022.

FILE PHOTO: Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic practices at Melbourne Park as questions remain over the legal battle regarding his visa to play in the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, January 13, 2022. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Australian Open organizers said Tuesday they “deeply regret” the impact that the Novak Djokovic deportation saga had on other players and admitted there were “lessons to learn.”

The unvaccinated men’s world number one Djokovic flew out of Melbourne on Sunday after he failed in a last-gasp court bid to stay and play in the opening Grand Slam of the year, where he was targeting a record 21st major title.

His dramatic departure followed a protracted, high-stakes legal battle between the 34-year-old and Australian authorities that cast a dark shadow over the tournament.

In its first comments on the matter, Tennis Australia said in a statement it…

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