The Daily
The Daily
Jan 21, 2022
What the ‘Djokovic Affair’ Revealed About Australia
Play • 31 min

Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1 player in men’s tennis, had a lot at stake going into this year’s Australian Open. A win there would have made him the most decorated male tennis player in history. 

But he arrived in the country without having had a Covid-19 vaccination, flying in the face of Australia’s rules, and after a court battle he was ultimately deported.

In Australia, the “Djokovic affair” has become about a lot more than athletes and vaccines — it has prompted conversations about the country’s aggressive border policy, isolationism and treatment of migrants. 

Guest: Damien Cave, the Australia bureau chief for The New York Times.

Want more from The Daily? For one big idea on the news each week from our team, subscribe to our newsletter

Background reading: 

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison latched on to the Djokovic case. But with an election looming, it’s not clear that it was a political winner.
  • Novak Djokovic lost his bid to stay in Australia to a government determined to make him a symbol of unvaccinated celebrity entitlement; to an immigration law that gives godlike authority to border enforcement; and to a public outcry, in a nation of rule followers.

For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

More episodes
Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu