Novak Djokovic gets ‘uncomfortable’ reception at behind closed doors Australian Open training session

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  • Novak Djokovic
    Novak Djokovic
    Serbian tennis player

Watch: Djokovic back to training in Australia after court victory

Novak Djokovic received an “uncomfortable” reception from fellow players as he took part in a secret training session at the Australian Open on Tuesday, according to reports. 

Djokovic was released from an immigration facility on Monday after winning his appeal against deportation from the country and says he is “focused” on defending his Australian Open title. 

While Djokovic is still facing the possibility of having his visa revoked, as the Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke considers whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation, the nine-time Australian Open champion has returned to training ahead of the start of the tournament on 17 January. 

Djokovic took part in a training session at the Rod Laver Arena, that was shrouded in secrecy after tournament organisers closed the doors to the practice and cut the live stream of the court. 

Tennis Australia later released video of Djokovic practicing with coach Goran Ivanisevic, but the world No. 1 was also said to have taken part in an indoor gym session. 

And according to New York Times reporter Ben Rothenberg, who quoted a source in the facility, “the place went silent with everyone staring. Talk about uncomfortable.”

However, that report was disputed by the world No. 220 Sergiy Stakhovsky, who tweeted: “Total bs .. was warming up for my match in the same gym. Find better gossipers.” 

While Djokovic has yet to face the media or answer questions on the sage, players such as Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray have commented since arriving in Australia.

Nadal said Djokovic’s visa controversy has developed into a “a circus” ahead of the tournament while Murray said it was a “really bad look” for tennis. 

Watch: A look at star athletes who take a controversial stance on COVID-19

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