Mats Wilander recently gave his thoughts on Djokovic’s visa fiasco
Mats Wilander feels Novak Djokovic’s visa fiasco in Australia is likely to tarnish the Serb’s already fragile public image. Wilander believes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s immense popularity means Djokovic is considered the “black sheep” of the tennis community, which is “very unfair.”
Novak Djokovic’s visa to enter Australia was canceled hours after he touched down in Melbourne with a medical exemption. Djokovic apparently failed to provide evidence to support his exemption and had his visa canceled by Australian Border Forces.
Djokovic’s lawyers secured a hearing for Monday, challenging the cancelation. They claim that their client contracted COVID-19 recently and was also granted permission to enter Australia quarantine-free.
Unfortunately for the Serb, prior infection is not considered a valid reason for unvaccinated individuals such as himself to enter the country.
Speaking to Eurosport, Mats Wilander asserted that he feels Djokovic has been “unlucky,” citing how the Serb usually always fights for the right causes.
“I think he’s been unlucky,” Wilander said. “I think he’s trying to do the right thing all the time with his players union as well. He’s trying to speak up for the lower-level player and is trying to fight the fight. And so maybe it seems like it should be more organized.”
Wilander reckons the visa fiasco will dent Djokovic’s image even further, especially since he has always faced more scrutiny and criticism than peers Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
“Maybe his legacy will become a little bit messy in a way that he should have been more prepared,” he added. “He should have had better papers but some of it has to do with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal being hugely popular stars, somebody has to be the black sheep.””Unfortunately for Novak himself, I think people that are very willing to sort of paint him that black sheep, I think it’s very unfair.”
“Novak Djokovic is more human after the US Open final” – Mats Wilander on why the Serb’s rivals would want to face him at the Australian Open
Novak Djokovic after losing the 2021 US Open final against Daniil Medvedev
Turning his attention to Novak Djokovic’s potential participation at the Australian Open, which hinges on the court case, Mats Wilander pointed out that some of the Serb’s rivals might be eager to face him in Melbourne.
Taking the example of the 2021 US Open final, the Swede pointed out that Djokovic is no longer as infallible as he seemed for large parts of last year. Chasing a Calendar Slam in New York, Djokovic collapsed remarkably against Daniil Medvedev in the title clash.
Wilander, a seven-time Major champion, believes some of the younger players would have been buoyed by Medvedev’s win over the Serb and would thus back themselves against the World No. 1.
“I think it means for the other players that they want him to play because he is more human this year than he was last year,” Wilander said.”He is more human after the US Open final after he lost in three sets to Medvedev,” Wilander added. “And I think the younger generation are looking at that and saying ‘hey, I want to play the greatest player of all time. I think I have a chance to beat the greatest player of all time. So please let him in. I want to play him. I think I can beat him.”