Australia made its decision, but opinion remains divided worldwide on Novak Djokovic and whether he should have been allowed to compete in the Australian Open despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19.
At a tennis center in Phoenix on Sunday, employee Stan Taylor said the lobby was abuzz with just one question as players arrived: "What do you think about Novak Djokovic?"
There was no consensus on whether the No. 1 men's player had tried to game the system in seeking an exemption to Australia's strict vaccination rules or had the right to defend his title at the Open. In the end, the country's immigration minister revoked his visa on public interest grounds, and Djokovic
was deported Sunday.
Taylor said he knows Djokovic
has favored unconventional approaches all his life, but he wanted to see the tennis star display leadership in the polarizing COVID-19 vaccine debate.
"I love to watch him do battle," said Taylor, who lives in Phoenix and has closely followed the saga. "I've watched him snatch victory from the mouth of defeat. .... So he loves the game, but this thing was not something to get on the soapbox about. He chose the wrong fight, and he lost."