Players tired of Djokovic saga: De Minaur

Australia's top male player Alex de Minaur says the ongoing Novak Djokovic drama has taken the spotlight off other Australian Open players.

ALEX DE MINAUR of Australia.
ALEX DE MINAUR of Australia. Picture: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Australian Open players are sick of the Novak Djokovic saga and want the spotlight back on the tennis, says Australian men's No.1 Alex de Minaur.

The visa drama of Djokovic has dominated the build-up to the year's first grand slam, with the playing status of the nine-time champion still to be decided in court on Sunday.

Djokovic has had his visa cancelled twice and faces deportation unless he is successful with court action.

De Minaur said he was frustrated by the ongoing focus on the Serbian superstar.

"This whole situation has taken a lot of spotlight away from us competitors," the world No.34 said on Saturday at the pre-tournament media day at Melbourne Park.

"It feels like it's taking away from us competitors who just want to start.

"I'm just ready to put all of this behind me and focus on playing my tennis matches, kind of let my tennis do the talking.

"At the end of the day tennis is an individual sport and we've all been here in Australia for a while getting ready for this tournament.

"We all just want to get on with our own stuff."

De Minaur himself battled COVID-19 last year, with his form and rankings sliding as he struggled to fully recover.

After watching fellow Australian players such as John Millman spend 11 months away from home because of the country's strict border and quarantine requirements, he appeared to have little sympathy for Djokovic.

The 32nd seed said Djokovic had made his choice not to vaccinate.

"Australians have gone through a lot. There's no secret about that," de Minaur said.

"They've had it very tough. They've done a lot of work to protect themselves and their borders.

"When you're coming in, as well as every other tennis player, if you wanted to come into the country, you had to be double vaccinated. It was up to him, his choices, his judgement.

"Here we are."

But British great Andy Murray said he felt for long-time rival Djokovic and hoped it could be resolved as soon as possible, with round one starting Monday.

"I'm not going to sit here and start kicking Novak whilst he's down," three-time grand slam champion Murray said.

"It's unfortunate that it's ended up in this sort of situation.

"I just want it obviously to get resolved ... it just seems like it's dragged on for quite a long time now and it's not great for the tennis, not great for the Australian Open, not great for Novak."