Novak Djokovic coach Marian Vajda had to suffer through the recent deportation drama from home in Slovakia but said he felt the pain all the same.
“My first reaction was shock, suffering a lot of emotions,” he told sport.sk. “I don’t even want to think about how I would have mentally dealt with that if I had been there.
“Even being at home, in Bratislava, I also experienced it in a certain way; I could not believe that something like this was happening, I could not sleep well.
“Everyone knows that he had travelled with a single objective: to play in the first Grand Slam of the year and defend the title.”
Vajda, who shares coaching duties with Goran Ivanisevic, said his client has the silent support of any players perhaps afraid to speak out on the issue which has shocked tennis.
“Many people have written to him and they have also written to me and they are sorry for what has happened to him.
“However, those people are not going to speak publicly.”
He added: “Nowhere can you read about every night that Novak has spent on the computer, debating with many players about their conditions on the circuit, how he can help them and what he can do with them,” prior to the locked-down Australian Open played last February..
“Remember last year, in which he even got stationary bikes sent to the rooms of the players confined in Melbourne.
“Throughout the pandemic, he has fought for them. I also have the feeling that many players do not have enough sources of information, because the press confuses them and makes them be against Djokovic.”
“(I don’t understand) decisions of the tournaments, including Roland Garros, to announce that they will not let the unvaccinated enter
“I do not understand why it is important for them to announce this type of thing now when, for example, they will not be played until May.
“The world still does not know what is going to happen with the pandemic or in a month. How are we going and how are we going to protect ourselves?”