Australian Open: Is Novak Djokovic's self-control saving the day?

It has happened that we lend to Novak Djokovic a sincerity calculated in his odes to benevolence, and even that we get annoyed by his exacerbated gnagnanism, to ask the crowd for giant hugs in the stands to celebrate life and love. Always this story of the youngest of the siblings, who wants mom to love him as much as the two grown-ups, with their perfect little life as classy and fair play tennis champions . Not to mention his connection to science and his allergy to vaccination, at the origin of all the fuss of the last few days.

Nevertheless, it is time to agree that the unfolding of events in Melbourne somewhat helped to revise our harsh judgment. If the world number 1 finally manages to find himself on the court on Monday to chase the historic Grand Slam record, which remains to be proven as the Australian state seems determined to demonstrate that one can always be more ridiculous than the day before by putting his own effort into it, he will owe it above all to his extraordinary mastery of himself, his behavior, and his reactions since he found himself embarked in this unnamed galley.

A customs clearance worthy of Chevallier and Laspalès

It is enough to read the full report of his exchanges with the Australian border police, to realize the administrative impasse which awaited him as soon as he got off the plane. A delectable candy, between an episode of The Office and the legendary sketch of the train to Pau des Chevaliers du Ciel. More than four hours of exchanges – counting the interruptions – banging your head against the walls, with a customs officer stuck to the procedure like an Orange advisor who asks you indefinitely to restart the box when you have already done so 300 time.

– “Are you of Australian nationality? ”

-” Why are you coming to this country? ”

-” So you have a medical exemption, show it. ”

-” Redo see. ”

– ” Very well very well. »

All this to be announced, after three hours of waiting, that the visa application is canceled , because, “you know”, “I am not questioning what was promised to you, but once in Australia, it is the federal government that decides. So there, I’m going to cancel your visa, unless you have some convincing evidence to show me within the next twenty minutes. “Or the precise moment when we would have completely melted a fuse on our side, tied with the” my shift is over, another person will take care of your file “at 5am 20 in the morning by the officer attending to a banned Djokovic. Forbidden, but always remarkably calm.

Not once during this dialogue of deaf-mutes, when it is so easy to dive for arrogance in such cases, even to offer a small note according to the democratic maturity of the country concerned, not once, therefore, the Serbian does not let out a disrespectful word.

“You put me in a delicate position”

The elastic man is even as sweet as a consular diplomat of a nation in debt up to the neck, apologizing on several occasions for quite normal confusion for whom is not a professor of constitutional law in Canberra, and obedient without mufting when it is explained to him that a place awaits him in a hotel for refugees in town. A simple “you put me in a delicate position” at the height of tension. Hats off.

At this stage, Djoko no doubt understood that the affair had become political, but he did not make the mistake of rushing to his Insta account to denounce a human rights violation or a humanitarian scandal never seen in the 21st century. Nor that of reminding, casually, his donations in favor of the country during the big fires of 648, in a moment of almost understandable demago weakness. Perhaps he was helped by all these meditation sessions advocated by his former “guru” Pepe Imaz , a daily practice with the world number 1 for more than ten years.

His cautious silence on such an inflammable issue, which mixes both political sovereignty and public opinion, s’ is visibly revealed to be paying in court. Anthony Kelly, the judge concerned by the case, very quickly wondered “what more this man could have done” to prove his good faith , before ordering his immediate release.

An impeccable communication strategy?

Again, no vindictive statement or cookie-cutter statement, a simple tweet from the Rod Laver Arena where the boss has already installed his gaiters as if to show that he has moved on to something else: “I want to stay and try to participate in the Australian Open. I am happy and grateful that the judge went back on canceling my visa. Despite everything that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete in the Australian Open. I came here to play one of the biggest tournaments in front of amazing spectators. ”

A media fault a little tarnished, all the same, by the delusional activism of the Serbian political class and those close to the Djoker, who called a new press conference lunar in Belgrade this Monday, to celebrate “the biggest victory of Novak’s career” amid the trophies of their champion and an overhead projector which looped extracts of his exploits on the circuit. The circus lasted a good half an hour before Djordje Djokovic cut the microphones to the cheers, when a journalist dared to ask him why his brother had walked without a mask all over the place the days following his positive test, the 16 December.

The Djokovic family in their works in Belgrade, on 10 January 2021. – Pedja MILOSAVLJEVIC / AFP

Shut up, mom and dad

Five more minutes and maybe Alex Hawke, the minister of ‘Australian immigration who may still decide to send the world number 1 home in the next charter, pressed the red button. But now that the individual is free to move, Australia has nothing more to gain from rolling muscles like a fighting bull. Barring a bad word from the boy, of course. After all, it can gush out without warning, like a unfortunate racket throw on a Grand Slam line judge.