Tennis Australia refuses to pay Novak Djokovic’s legal fees, says Craig Tiley without resigning

Craig Tilly, director of the troubled Australian Open, said on Thursday that he would not resign over Novak Djokovic’s saga and would deny that Tennis Australia (TA) paid Serbia’s legal and travel expenses.

Djokovic was deported from Australia on Sunday night, hours after a federal court rejected his attempt to stay in the country to play in the tournament where he hoped to win a record 21st Grand Slam title.

In her first interview since dropping the world number one from Australia, Tiley sidestepped questions about Tennis Australia’s involvement in trying to bring Djokovic into the country in the first place.

The South African, who is also the chief executive of Tennis Australia, told Channel 9 at Melbourne Park: “We’ve already addressed those questions and we’re really focused on just giving a great event today.”

In a previous interview during the saga with Channel 9, which owns the broadcast rights of the tournament, Tiley defended the role of Tennis Australia and blamed conflicting and rapidly changing advice from the government.

Tyle was praised on Thursday when he appeared on the court for the first time in the tournament to give a bouquet to Australian player Sam Stosur after his last singles match at the Grand Slam.

Two days after the Tennis Australia Board issued a “commendable” statement about the organization of his event, Tyle was asked if he would resign.

“No,” he said. “We’ve made a statement recently and I’m very focused on focusing on a great event.”

He also reacted to local media reports that Tennis Australia paid Djokovic’s legal fees, his trip from Dubai to Melbourne and a house in the city that the world’s number one did not use.

“I’ve seen those reports,” he said. “We’re not really going into the details of the financial arrangements with the players. Those reports are just false.”

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