Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley says he is not personally responsible for fiasco

But again Mr Tiley declined to say whether the tournament organizers had underestimated how angry the Australian public would be.

Djokovic was expelled from the country after losing his appeal in federal court against immigration secretary Alex Hawke’s bid to revoke his visa because he could pose a threat to public health.

The federal government has issued Djokovic’s visa and disclosed in letters that it had told Tennis Australia to follow the guidelines of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) regarding medical exemptions and quarantine restrictions for players. Government lawyers have not contested the validity of the documents in court.

‘I have not spoken to him’

But Mr Tiley wouldn’t be interested in whether Tennis Australia’s complex web of government stakeholders meant he should have carried the public’s ire over the Djokovic saga, or whether he felt any sympathy for the number one tennis player in the world. world because of his treatment.

“I haven’t spoken to him since he left” [Australia]’ confirmed Mr Tiley.

When the Australia New Zealand Banking Group ends its formal partnership with Tennis Australia through the ANZ Hotshots next month, there will be no major local sponsor of our grand slam. But Mr Tiley said sponsors had stuck with the tournament and he was confident the sponsorship money would continue to pour in.

“The Australian Open is a great venue for sponsors, be it local, national or global. Bondi Sands, the brand of sunscreen, they love it and we have CUB, but those are the conversations we’ll be starting like every year,” said Mr Tiley.

“One positive thing has happened with the use and this is what we’ve been through two years of pandemics and all of our sponsors have stayed with us. Our broadcast partners have stayed with us and I think that’s been a pretty remarkable feat, especially when we had to compromise the crowds at the event. ”

Just days before this year’s event, the Victorian government imposed a cap on ticket sales to 50 percent of capacity in the three main arenas.

“You know last year was pretty compromised when we had to close for five days and this year it was limited to 50 percent,” he said.

“I think those are the things we can point to that remind us of the power of the event and the strengths of the platform for the sponsors.”

“Where’s Peng Shuai?”

Some have criticized Tennis Australia for failing to take a stronger stance against the Chinese over the disappearance of player Peng Shuai after she accused a former deputy prime minister of sexual assault in a since-deleted social media post.

In response, the Women’s Tennis Association has suspended all events in China and has called on the Chinese government to allow Ms Peng access to ensure she is alive.

Mr Tiley said Tennis Australia has worked closely with the WTA and will not tolerate any form of sexual abuse or harassment.

“We’ve been using our resources in the region to locate her from the very beginning,” said Mr Tiley, but stressed-out customers are not allowed to carry political banners into Melbourne Park after a sign asking “where is Peng Shuai” was recently taken off. the customers was seized week.

“If you want to wear a t-shirt that can say something, you can. But if someone is planning and they come to be disruptive, they are not welcome,” he said.

While audiences this year were divided over the rowdy fans who watched Aussie bad boy Nick Kyrgios at this year’s event, Mr Tiley said fans were more passionate than ever before.

“I think everyone has been locked up for a long time and got out and to be able to join… it’s been quite a journey,” he said.

Mr Tiley tips world number one Ash Barty to win and said Russian Daniil Medvedev or Italian Yannick Sinner, who defeated Aussie Alex de Minaur in the fourth round, could knock out the men’s draw .

Mr. Tiley admitted that some Melburnians are still concerned about the ommicron variant, but he hoped the event would breathe new life into ailing small businesses and urban venues.

“I think we’re playing a part in the journey of the city coming back and we’re all going to be able to get back to a more normal feeling,” he said.

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