Novak Djokovic on his way out of Australia. / REUTERS

Madrid mayor says Djokovic would be an attractive draw for the Madrid Open

The Serbian tennis player was deported from Australia after lying on his visa application about, among other things, his time in Marbella

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The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, has caused controversy after saying that the prospect of Novak Djokovic playing in the Madrid Open would be a "great draw" for the tournament.

"You can't ignore the fact that he's still the world number one and alongside the rest of the biggest tennis players, he is a great draw to guarantee that the Madrid Open has the spectator success it usually has," he said of Djokovic.

The Serbian tennis player was set to play in the Australian Open this week before having his visa application rejected. The decision came after it was revealed that Djokovic had lied on his form, in which he stated that he had not been anywhere other than Marbella before heading Down Under, against Australian protocol.

The Serbian's professional situation has been made more complicated with the French Open announcing that players must be vaccinated, which Djokovic is not.

The Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, also weighed in. "Without creating controversy, a person must comply with Spain's health laws and no one is above the rules," he said.