Novak Djokovic news LIVE: Tennis star to be deported from Australia if he hasn’t told truth, deputy PM claims

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Novak Djokovic news LIVE: Tennis star to be deported from Australia if he hasn’t told truth, deputy PM claims
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Novak Djokovic faces deportation from Australia after his visa was revoked at a Melbourne airport on Thursday. The men’s tennis world No1 had claimed he had a medical exemption from being vaccinated against Covid-19 and had hoped this would allow him to circumnavigate Australia’s strict rules on entering the country.

However, the Australian Border Force said in a statement that Djokovic “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.” It added: “Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia.”

The incident has sparked an international diplomatic row, with Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic writing on Instagram: “In line with all norms of international law, Serbia will fight for Novak, truth and justice.” Later the Australian prime minister Scott Morrison tweeted: “Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders”. Rival Rafael Nadal had his say on the situation before the Serbian’s parents claimed their son was being treated “like a prisoner” by Australian authorities.

Djokovic, who was left stranded at Melbourne’s Tullamanrien airport overnight before being moved to a quarantine hotel, filed an injunction to prevent his deportation. Follow all the latest news below.

Novak Djokovic latest news

Novak Djokovic will be deported if he has not told truth, says deputy PM

Thursday 6 January 2022 20:30 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has been told by the Australian deputy PM Barnaby Joyce that he will be deported if he has not told the truth.

The Serbian is currently in immigration detention after his entry was denied and his visa revoked.

Joyce told the BBC that “rich people can’t wander around the world thinking... they are above the laws”.

He added: “If he hasn’t filled out the forms appropriately then he’s taking the sovereign capacity of another nation for a joke. 100 per cent someone’s made a mistake and if he hasn’t told the truth then the person who’s made the mistake is Mr Djokovic.”

Novak Djokovic treated ‘like a felon’ in ‘extraordinary scandal’

Thursday 6 January 2022 20:00 , Jack Rathborn

Former Yugoslavia Davis Cup coach Radmilo Armenulic said Novak Djokovic had been treated “like a felon” and described the situation as an “extraordinary scandal.”

“They detained him under police presence. He was held in a room for eight hours after he was cleared to take part in the Australian Open by the medical panel,” Armenulic told Reuters.

“This decision, in my opinion, reflects lawlessness and not the rule of law. They have treated Novak like a criminal and a villain to stop him from winning his 21st Grand Slam.”

Novak Djokovic’s mother calls situation over rescinded visa ‘not human’

Thursday 6 January 2022 19:30 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic’s mother Dijana has called her son’s situation over a rescinded visa “not human”.

“I feel terrible since yesterday that they are keeping him as a prisoner. It’s not fair. It’s not human. I hope that he will win,” said Djokovic‘s mother.

She also confirmed that she had spoken with him briefly by telephone from Belgrade. She added: “Terrible, terrible accommodation. It’s just some small immigration hotel, if it’s hotel at all.”

Novak Djokovic is ‘in prison’, claims father

Thursday 6 January 2022 19:00 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, said: “Novak and his team filed the same type of ducments as those 25 other tennis players and they didn’t have any problems, just Novak. They wanted to humiliate him.

“He’s not in detention, he’s in prison. They took all of his stuff, even his wallet.

“They left him with just a phone and no change of clothes, nowhere to wash his face. He’s in prison, our pride is a prisoner of these idiots.”

Novak Djokovic accompanied by his father Srdjan Djokovic (AFP)
Novak Djokovic accompanied by his father Srdjan Djokovic (AFP)

Novak Djokovic visa row is just latest step in a career of contradictions

Thursday 6 January 2022 18:30 , Jack Rathborn

In the same vein as his unerring domination of tennis, Novak Djokovic has rarely left anything to nuance. Within the world of sport, he has been cast as either an unstoppable heir or a cold iconoclast, on a relentless pursuit of records. On matters of medical health, the twenty-times grand slam champion’s de facto second court, his reputation as a conspiracist or - at least in his own eyes - a martyr has always been rather more self-inflicted.

And so as the drama and diplomacy of Djokovic’s purgatory in Melbourne continues to unfold, with the Serbian’s detention at the Park Hotel now extended until Monday, it is hard not to feel as though we’ve been bubbling towards an eruption like this for years. Djokovic’s life has always been founded on an obstinate self-belief, procuring immense success and provoking regular controversy, particularly during the pandemic. Eventually, though, there had to be a flashpoint where the 34-year-old’s highly questionable beliefs collided with reality and didn’t still result in triumph.

Of course, there is still no absolute clarity over whether Djokovic will be granted permission to compete at the Australian Open. After eight hours at Melbourne Airport on Wednesday, his father, Srdjan, declared that his son was “the Spartacus of the new world” and that “he is like water and water paves its own path”. The delusions of grandeur are seemingly hereditary, but there can be little doubt that Djokovic is used to getting his own way.

The Novak Djokovic visa row is just latest step in a career of contradictions

Toni Nadal sends message to Novak Djokovic

Thursday 6 January 2022 18:00 , Jack Rathborn

Rafael Nadal’s uncle and trainer Toni Nadal has joined the debate over Novak Djokovic, admitting he is surprised that the Serbian is not vaccinated yet after attempting to play the Australian Open.

“I must admit that until Tuesday’s announcement, I thought that the Serbian player would give up participating in the tournament , or that the vaccine would be inoculated,” Toni Nadal says in his El Pais column.

“There are almost six million people who have lost their lives due to this damn virus and many other millions who have received the vaccine.

“I want to think that Novak is no stranger to all this and that he will clear the doubts as a sign of human sensitivity and understanding.”

PM: Novak Djokovic alerted himself to authorities with public statement

Thursday 6 January 2022 17:30 , Jack Rathborn

“One of the things that the Border Force does... is act on intelligence to direct their attention to potential arrivals,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Sky Sports News.

“When you get people making public statements about what they say they have and what they are going to do and what their claims are, they draw significant attention to themselves.

“Anyone who does that, whether they’re a celebrity, a politician, a tennis player, a journalist, whoever does that, they can expect to be asked questions more than others before you come.”

Daniil Medvedev: Novak Djokovic decision ‘very tough in real life’

Thursday 6 January 2022 17:00 , Jack Rathborn

US Open champion Daniil Medvedev has resisted the opportunity to take sides in the debate over Novak Djokovic’s visa situation ahead of the Australian Open.

The Russian will be bumped up to the No 1 seed if Djokovic pulls out due to visa issues and maintains he is merely focusing on himself right now.

“If he had a fair exemption from the rule, well, he should be here; if he didn’t, he shouldn’t be here,” Medvedev said.

“It sounds easy, but it seems very tough in real life, and I don’t know the insides of the story, so that’s why I’m just focusing on myself.”

Australia’s Covid situation

Thursday 6 January 2022 16:25 , Jack Rathborn

Australia continues to suffer record Covid cases due to the Omicron strain of the virus.

And while Thursday’s count remains incomplete, Australia has reported 72,392 new infections to surpass the previous total 24 hours earlier at 64,774 .

Cases have remained low due to aggressive lockdowns in earlier stages of the pandemic, but the country is now experiencing a greater spread of the virus than many other parts of the Asia-Pacific region.

Former Australian Open chief baffled by Novak Djokovic’s visa rescinded

Thursday 6 January 2022 16:11 , Jack Rathborn

Former Australian Open chief executive Paul McNamee has said: “For those asking, all players go through the same visa process overseen by Tennis Australia to play the Australian Open (as non Australians are currently not able to enter).

“So it beggars belief that Djokovic is the only player that has had his visa granted and then rescinded.”

Novak Djokovic’s mother calls situation over rescinded visa ‘not human’

Thursday 6 January 2022 15:56 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic’s mother Dijana has called her son’s situation over a rescinded visa “not human”.

“I feel terrible since yesterday that they are keeping him as a prisoner. It’s not fair. It’s not human. I hope that he will win,” said Djokovic‘s mother.

She also confirmed that she had spoken with him briefly by telephone from Belgrade.She added: “Terrible, terrible accommodation. It’s just some small immigration hotel, if it’s hotel at all.”

Novak Djokovic visa cancelled due to ‘integrity and evidence’ behind exemption

Thursday 6 January 2022 15:45 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic’s visa to get into Australia was cancelled after border officials looked into the medical exemption and “the integrity and the evidence behind it,” according to Health Minister Greg Hunt.

Djokovic has neither confirmed his vaccination status or whether he has contracted the virus in the last six months - which was one of the key criteria to receiving the exemption.

His case will now be heard on Monday when he may be deported.

‘There are some consequences’: Rafael Nadal takes shot at Novak Djokovic over visa row

Thursday 6 January 2022 15:06 , Jack Rathborn

Rafael Nadal admits he feels sorry for Novak Djokovic after the world number one was denied entry into Australia but also says his rival knew the consequences of arriving for the Australian Open without being vaccinated.

The 34-year-old was detained by officials at the border on Thursday amid a storm of protest about the decision to grant him a medical exemption from vaccination requirements to play in the tournament.

Djokovic, who has won nine Australian Open titles including the last three, is holed up in a quarantine hotel in Melbourne as his lawyers seek an urgent injunction against deportation.

The Novak Djokovic visa row is just latest step in a career of contradictions

Dustin Brown has no sympathy for Novak Djokovic: ‘He knew the consequences’

Thursday 6 January 2022 14:52 , Jack Rathborn

Dustin Brown has joined the debate surrounding Novak Djokovic’s potential deportation from Australia.

The German has no sympathy for Djokovic and insists he knew the consequences of his decision a long time ago.

He said: “Every player on the tour (ATP/WTA) has a choice to make. Obviously also everyone in the world, but lets focus on tennis here. Depending on what they believe in, they decided to take it or not take it...

“Both decisions come/came with consequences that we all have/had to deal with. If I decide I don’t want to take it (for whatever reason), then I have to live with the consequences of not being able to enter a country, if they have a rule that says you have to be vaccinated.

“No matter if I feel this is right or wrong. This is the world we currently live in and more and more countries will have rules like this.”

Novak Djokovic is ‘in prison’, claims father

Thursday 6 January 2022 14:45 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, said: “Novak and his team filed the same type of ducments as those 25 other tennis players and they didn’t have any problems, just Novak. They wanted to humiliate him.

“He’s not in detention, he’s in prison. They took all of his stuff, even his wallet.

“They left him with just a phone and no change of clothes, nowhere to wash his face. He’s in prison, our pride is a prisoner of these idiots.”

Novak Djokovic accompanied by his father Srdjan Djokovic (AFP)
Novak Djokovic accompanied by his father Srdjan Djokovic (AFP)

Novak Djokovic visa row is just latest step in a career of contradictions

Thursday 6 January 2022 14:36 , Jack Rathborn

In the same vein as his unerring domination of tennis, Novak Djokovic has rarely left anything to nuance. Within the world of sport, he has been cast as either an unstoppable heir or a cold iconoclast, on a relentless pursuit of records. On matters of medical health, the twenty-times grand slam champion’s de facto second court, his reputation as a conspiracist or - at least in his own eyes - a martyr has always been rather more self-inflicted.

And so as the drama and diplomacy of Djokovic’s purgatory in Melbourne continues to unfold, with the Serbian’s detention at the Park Hotel now extended until Monday, it is hard not to feel as though we’ve been bubbling towards an eruption like this for years. Djokovic’s life has always been founded on an obstinate self-belief, procuring immense success and provoking regular controversy, particularly during the pandemic. Eventually, though, there had to be a flashpoint where the 34-year-old’s highly questionable beliefs collided with reality and didn’t still result in triumph.

Of course, there is still no absolute clarity over whether Djokovic will be granted permission to compete at the Australian Open. After eight hours at Melbourne Airport on Wednesday, his father, Srdjan, declared that his son was “the Spartacus of the new world” and that “he is like water and water paves its own path”. The delusions of grandeur are seemingly hereditary, but there can be little doubt that Djokovic is used to getting his own way.

The Novak Djokovic visa row is just latest step in a career of contradictions

Australian Open 2022: How tennis players can gain vaccine exemption

Thursday 6 January 2022 14:30 , Jack Rathborn

If a player is not vaccinated, they cannot play at the Australian Open 2022 without an exemption, here are the rules to be granted one:

- 26 players and support staff have applied already

- A PCR test to prove Covid-19 infection within last six months

- “A major medical condition” such as a recent major surgery or hospitalisation over a serious illness

- A “serious adverse event” to a previous Covid vaccination

- People who are a risk to themselves or others during the vaccination process

- Proof of an inflammatory cardiac illness within the past three months

PM: Novak Djokovic alerted himself to authorities with public statement

Thursday 6 January 2022 14:22 , Jack Rathborn

“One of the things that the Border Force does... is act on intelligence to direct their attention to potential arrivals,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Sky Sports News.

“When you get people making public statements about what they say they have and what they are going to do and what their claims are, they draw significant attention to themselves.

“Anyone who does that, whether they’re a celebrity, a politician, a tennis player, a journalist, whoever does that, they can expect to be asked questions more than others before you come.”

Piers Morgan accuses Novak Djokovic of ‘making a dodgy visa application’

Thursday 6 January 2022 14:15 , Jack Rathborn

Piers Morgan has defended Australia’s right to order Novak Djokovic to be deported.

The Serb’s mix-up with his visa has seen many wade in with their opinion and Morgan predictably could not resist giving his two cents.

He tweeted: “The Djokovic saga is not about whether you believe in Covid vaccines, but whether you believe famous sports stars should play by the same rules as everyone else.

“He has the right not to be jabbed, and Australia has the right to chuck him out for making a dodgy visa application.”

‘There are some consequences’: Rafael Nadal takes shot at Novak Djokovic over visa row

Thursday 6 January 2022 14:00 , Jack Rathborn

Rafael Nadal admits he feels sorry for Novak Djokovic after the world number one was denied entry into Australia but also says his rival knew the consequences of arriving for the Australian Open without being vaccinated.

The 34-year-old was detained by officials at the border on Thursday amid a storm of protest about the decision to grant him a medical exemption from vaccination requirements to play in the tournament.

Djokovic, who has won nine Australian Open titles including the last three, is holed up in a quarantine hotel in Melbourne as his lawyers seek an urgent injunction against deportation.

Nadal tested positive for Covid last month, despite being vaccinated, and says his rival knew his own decision would have consequences.

“I went through the Covid, I have been vaccinated twice. If you do this, you don’t have any problem to play here. That’s the only clear thing,” Nadal said after winning his first singles match on the ATP Tour since August.”

Rafael Nadal takes shot at Novak Djokovic over visa row

Novak Djokovic will be deported if he has not told truth, says deputy PM

Thursday 6 January 2022 13:42 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has been told by the Australian deputy PM Barnaby Joyce that he will be deported if he has not told the truth.

The Serbian is currently in immigration detention after his entry was denied and his visa revoked.

Joyce told the BBC that “rich people can’t wander around the world thinking... they are above the laws”.

He added: “If he hasn’t filled out the forms appropriately then he’s taking the sovereign capacity of another nation for a joke. 100 per cent someone’s made a mistake and if he hasn’t told the truth then the person who’s made the mistake is Mr Djokovic.”

Novak Djokovic evidence for exemption was ‘minimal’

Thursday 6 January 2022 13:31 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic paperwork on arrival has been described as “minimal” and only supported by one doctor, according to a report from The Age in Australia.

There were three others who entered with the same vaccine exemption.

While Djokovic may not be the only player deported, with Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews confirming Border Force will now investigate and have not ruled out more players being sent back home.

Why was Novak Djokovic’s visa denied in Australia and what happens next?

Thursday 6 January 2022 13:30 , Ben Burrows

Djokovic’s situation appears to have found itself in the middle of public jousting between Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative administration and the left-leaning Victorian government led by Premier Dan Andrews.

Australia’s daily Covid infections hit a record high for the fourth consecutive day, with new cases exceeding 72,000, overwhelming hospitals and causing labour shortages.

Under Australia’s federal system, states and territories can issue exemptions from vaccination requirements to enter their jurisdictions. However, the federal government controls international borders and can challenge such exemptions.

Djokovic travelled to Australia after receiving an exemption from the Victorian government. That exemption - the reasons for which are not known - supported his federal government-issued visa.

Why was Novak Djokovic’s Australia visa denied and what happens next?

Novak Djokovic treated ‘like a felon’ in ‘extraordinary scandal'

Thursday 6 January 2022 13:05 , Jack Rathborn

Former Yugoslavia Davis Cup coach Radmilo Armenulic said Novak Djokovic had been treated “like a felon” and described the situation as an “extraordinary scandal.”

“They detained him under police presence. He was held in a room for eight hours after he was cleared to take part in the Australian Open by the medical panel,” Armenulic told Reuters.

“This decision, in my opinion, reflects lawlessness and not the rule of law. They have treated Novak like a criminal and a villain to stop him from winning his 21st Grand Slam.”

Decision to rescind Novak Djokovic visa is ‘politically motivated’, claims former mentor

Thursday 6 January 2022 12:57 , Jack Rathborn

“The Australian Prime Minister is trying to please a part of the country’s society and improve his poor political rating by saying ‘Djokovic can’t compete because I said that unvaccinated athletes will be banned from competing’,” Niki Pilic, a former mentor to Novak Djokovic told Reuters.

“In my opinion it’s politically motivated. To deny entry to the winner of nine Australian Open titles because of wrong paperwork, if the visa application was erroneous, is farcical.”

Novak Djokovic is ‘a symbol and a leader of the libertarian world’, claims father

Thursday 6 January 2022 12:48 , Jack Rathborn

“Novak has become the symbol and a leader of the libertarian world, a world of poor and oppressed nations and people. My son has shown that a small and heroic country like Serbia can boast of the world’s all-time best tennis player and athlete,” Djokovic‘s father Srdjan told the Telegraf website.

“They can incarcerate him tonight, shackle him tomorrow, but truth is like water, as it always finds its way. Novak is the Spartacus of the new world that doesn’t tolerate injustice, colonialism and hypocrisy,” he said.

“Novak has shown you can achieve anything if you have dreams, and he shares these dreams with billions of people who look up to him.”

Novak Djokovic mentor calls Serbian player’s situation ‘farcical’ and ‘a disgrace'

Thursday 6 January 2022 12:35 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic is a victim of Australian political games, his former mentor told Reuters after he was denied entry into the country for the Australian Open on Thursday, while the player’s furious father described him as a symbol of the poor and oppressed.

The 34-year-old Djokovic was granted a medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination requirements to defend his title in the year’s first major, but after a public outcry the world number one was detained by officials at the border on Thursday.

His former mentor Niki Pilic told Reuters the situation as “farcical” and a “disgrace”, adding that: “Politics have interfered with sports here as it so often does.”

Djokovic is now in a quarantine hotel in Melbourne after his lawyers secured an agreement for him to stay in the country for a court hearing on Monday in which he hopes to overturn the federal government ban on his entry.

Novak Djokovic at border control in Melbourne

Thursday 6 January 2022 12:25 , Jack Rathborn

A picture has surfaced of Novak Djokovic at border control in Melbourne.

Now moved to a quarantine hotel, the men’s world No 1 player was seen showing documents in a bid to gain entry to the country before the Australian Open.

He must wait until Monday now to hear whether his appeal is successful or face deportation.

Toni Nadal sends message to Novak Djokovic

Thursday 6 January 2022 12:11 , Jack Rathborn

Rafael Nadal’s uncle and trainer Toni Nadal has joined the debate over Novak Djokovic, admitting he is surprised that the Serbian is not vaccinated yet after attempting to play the Australian Open.

“I must admit that until Tuesday’s announcement, I thought that the Serbian player would give up participating in the tournament , or that the vaccine would be inoculated,” Toni Nadal says in his El Pais column.

“There are almost six million people who have lost their lives due to this damn virus and many other millions who have received the vaccine.

“I want to think that Novak is no stranger to all this and that he will clear the doubts as a sign of human sensitivity and understanding.”

Novak Djokovic request to move to rented apartment denied

Thursday 6 January 2022 12:03 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic reportedly requested a move from the quarantine hotel to a rented apartment where his team is staying.

That has been rejected, with Sport Klub reporter Sasa Osmo reporting that the men’s No 1 player in the world still does not have his wallet, while other belongings are at the airport.

The reporter also claims there are “some bugs in his room”.

Daniil Medvedev: Novak Djokovic decision ‘very tough in real life'

Thursday 6 January 2022 11:55 , Jack Rathborn

US Open champion Daniil Medvedev has resisted the opportunity to take sides in the debate over Novak Djokovic’s visa situation ahead of the Australian Open.

The Russian will be bumped up to the No 1 seed if Djokovic pulls out due to visa issues and maintains he is merely focusing on himself right now.

“If he had a fair exemption from the rule, well, he should be here; if he didn’t, he shouldn’t be here,” Medvedev said.

“It sounds easy, but it seems very tough in real life, and I don’t know the insides of the story, so that’s why I’m just focusing on myself.”

Djokovic with Medvedev (AP)
Djokovic with Medvedev (AP)

Australian Open 2022 odds

Thursday 6 January 2022 11:41 , Jack Rathborn

While Novak Djokovic’s status is up in air for the Australian Open, the current odds, should he play, have him as second favourite:

- Daniil Medvedev 13/10

- Novak Djokovic 7/5

- Alexander Zverev 12/5

- Rafael Nadal 9/1

- Stefanos Tsitsipas16/1

- Jannik Sinner 17/1

- Andrey Rublev 25/1

- Matteo Berrettini 30/1

- Carlos Alcaraz 35/1

- Felix Auger Aliassime 50/1

- Cameron Norrie 60/1

- Hubert Hurkacz 66/1

- Denis Shapovalov 80/1

- Nick Kyrgios 80/1

- Grigor Dimitrov 80/1

- Karen Khachanov 80/1

- Casper Ruud 80/1

- Andy Murray 80/1

- Alex De Minaur 100/1

- Ugo Humbert 100/1

- Roberto Bautista Agut 100/1

- Lorenzo Musetti 100/1

- Marton Fucsovics 100/1

Odds via Betfair

Why was Novak Djokovic’s visa denied in Australia and what happens next?

Thursday 6 January 2022 11:25 , Jack Rathborn

Djokovic’s situation appears to have found itself in the middle of public jousting between Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative administration and the left-leaning Victorian government led by Premier Dan Andrews.

Australia’s daily Covid infections hit a record high for the fourth consecutive day, with new cases exceeding 72,000, overwhelming hospitals and causing labour shortages.

Under Australia’s federal system, states and territories can issue exemptions from vaccination requirements to enter their jurisdictions. However, the federal government controls international borders and can challenge such exemptions.

Djokovic travelled to Australia after receiving an exemption from the Victorian government. That exemption - the reasons for which are not known - supported his federal government-issued visa.

Why was Novak Djokovic’s Australia visa denied and what happens next?

Sergiy Stakhovsky maintains ‘political ego’ preventing Novak Djokovic entering Australia

Thursday 6 January 2022 11:15 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has been backed by Ukrainian tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky, who has condemned the Serb’s treatment in Australia.

He said: “When next time somebody will tell you ‘sport is not interfering with politics’ you remember the 6 January 2022 when purely political ‘ego’ is not allowing best tennis player in the world to enter the country to which ... ‘governmental institutions’ granted entry.”

Former Australian Open chief baffled by Novak Djokovic’s visa rescinded

Thursday 6 January 2022 11:09 , Jack Rathborn

Former Australian Open chief executive Paul McNamee has said: “For those asking, all players go through the same visa process overseen by Tennis Australia to play the Australian Open (as non Australians are currently not able to enter).

“So it beggars belief that Djokovic is the only player that has had his visa granted and then rescinded.”

Novak Djokovic fans protest against tennis player’s treatment

Thursday 6 January 2022 11:02 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic’s fans have grouped together outside his quarantine hotel to protest against his deportation status.

A final decision will be made on Monday as to whether the Serb will be granted a visa to enable him to play at the Australian Ope.

But the 20-time Grand Slam winner’s fans have reacted angrily, grouping together to protest against his situation.

Novak Djokovic news: Exemption confusion stems from disagreement with Department of Health

Thursday 6 January 2022 10:50 , Jack Rathborn

Federal health authorities told Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley on two separate occasions that players or coaching staff who were not vaccinated and had contracted Covid in the last six months would not be granted quarantine-free travel to Australia.

Australian publication The Age have reported that the men's world No 1 applied for an exemption on the basis of contracting the virus within the six-month period.

But Department of Health First Assistant Secretary Lisa Schofield said that "people who have previously had Covid and not received a vaccine dose are not considered fully vaccinated", while adding that nobody who this applied to would be granted quarantine-free entry no matter prior exemptions from other countries.

Dustin Brown has no sympathy for Novak Djokovic: ‘He knew the consequences'

Thursday 6 January 2022 10:38 , Jack Rathborn

Dustin Brown has joined the debate surrounding Novak Djokovic’s potential deportation from Australia.

The German has no sympathy for Djokovic and insists he knew the consequences of his decision a long time ago.

He said: “Every player on the tour (ATP/WTA) has a choice to make. Obviously also everyone in the world, but lets focus on tennis here. Depending on what they believe in, they decided to take it or not take it...

“Both decisions come/came with consequences that we all have/had to deal with. If I decide I don't want to take it (for whatever reason), then I have to live with the consequences of not being able to enter a country, if they have a rule that says you have to be vaccinated.

“No matter if I feel this is right or wrong. This is the world we currently live in and more and more countries will have rules like this.”

Novak Djokovic news: Exemption process for Australian Open 2022

Thursday 6 January 2022 10:27 , Jack Rathborn

Should a player feel that one of points from the list of criteria applies to them, then they must submit an application to be then examined by two panels.

They are: 1) Panel of doctors 2) Government-appointed panel of medical experts.

The identities of these players must be hidden by the panels.

Australian Open 2022: What has Novak Djokovic claimed to be granted a vaccine exemption?

Thursday 6 January 2022 10:14 , Jack Rathborn

After previously outlining the exemption process for vaccination and to play at the Australian Open 202 in Melbourne, it remains unclear as to what criteria Novak Djokovic has claimed to make him eligible for an exemption.

The Serb previously tested positive for Covid in the summer of 2020, though no positive test in the last six months has been made public. This appears to be the most probable cause for an exemption, though Djokovic or his team are yet to confirm a second positive test over the last six months.

Should Djokovic not have contracted the virus for a second time in the last six months, then it leaves him requiring “a major medical condition”, which appears unlikely.

Which then leaves us with the 20-time Grand Slam winner perhaps relying on proving he has had a “serious adverse event” to a previous Covid vaccination.

Djokovic has never disclosed his status or experience over a potential vaccination.

Australian Open 2022: How tennis players can gain vaccine exemption

Thursday 6 January 2022 10:06 , Jack Rathborn

If a player is not vaccinated, they cannot play at the Australian Open 2022 without an exemption, here are the rules to be granted one:

- 26 players and support staff have applied already

- A PCR test to prove Covid-19 infection within last six months

- “A major medical condition” such as a recent major surgery or hospitalisation over a serious illness

- A “serious adverse event” to a previous Covid vaccination

- People who are a risk to themselves or others during the vaccination process

- Proof of an inflammatory cardiac illness within the past three months

Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic criticises Novak Djokovic treatment

Thursday 6 January 2022 10:00 , Jack Rathborn

Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vucic has weighed into the debate and criticised the way Novak Djokovic had been treated.

Vucic wrote on Instagram: “I just finished a phone conversation with Novak Djokovic.

“I told our Novak that the whole of Serbia is with him, and that our authorities are taking all measures to stop the harassment of the best tennis player in the world in the shortest possible period.

“In accordance with all norms of international public law, Serbia will fight for Novak Djokovic, for justice and truth.”

Novak Djokovic news: Australian Border Force statement

Thursday 6 January 2022 09:50 , Jack Rathborn

A statement from the ABF read: “The Australian Border Force will continue to ensure that those who arrive at our border comply with our laws and entry requirements.

“The ABF can confirm that Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.

“Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia.

“The ABF can confirm Mr Djokovic had access to his phone.”

LATEST: Novak Djokovic facing anxious wait over Australia visa appeal

Thursday 6 January 2022 09:38 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has been given a reprieve in his bid to defend his Australian Open title after the Federal Court of Australia adjourned his appeal against the decision to refuse him a visa.

Djokovic has challenged the Australian Border Force’s decision to cancel his visa application and deport the nine-time Australian Open champion and his appeal has been adjourned until 10am on Monday in Melbourne court officials said.

The world number one has been told by the Federal Court of Australia that he can remain in Melbourne until his appeal resumes.

The 34-year-old travelled to Australia after announcing he had received a medical exemption from Covid vaccination rules to compete in the tournament.

That, however, was not sufficient for border officials with regard to entry into a country that has strict entry requirements. Djokovic was held for several hours at the airport after flying to Melbourne before ultimately being turned away.

Novak Djokovic facing anxious wait over Australia visa appeal

Piers Morgan accuses Novak Djokovic of ‘making a dodgy visa application'

Thursday 6 January 2022 09:26 , Jack Rathborn

Piers Morgan has defended Australia’s right to order Novak Djokovic to be deported.

The Serb’s mix-up with his visa has seen many wade in with their opinion and Morgan predictably could not resist giving his two cents.

He tweeted: “The Djokovic saga is not about whether you believe in Covid vaccines, but whether you believe famous sports stars should play by the same rules as everyone else.

“He has the right not to be jabbed, and Australia has the right to chuck him out for making a dodgy visa application.”

‘There are some consequences’: Rafael Nadal takes shot at Novak Djokovic over visa row

Thursday 6 January 2022 09:16 , Jack Rathborn

Rafael Nadal admits he feels sorry for Novak Djokovic after the world number one was denied entry into Australia but also says his rival knew the consequences of arriving for the Australian Open without being vaccinated.

The 34-year-old was detained by officials at the border on Thursday amid a storm of protest about the decision to grant him a medical exemption from vaccination requirements to play in the tournament.

Djokovic, who has won nine Australian Open titles including the last three, is holed up in a quarantine hotel in Melbourne as his lawyers seek an urgent injunction against deportation.

Nadal tested positive for Covid last month, despite being vaccinated, and says his rival knew his own decision would have consequences.

“I went through the Covid, I have been vaccinated twice. If you do this, you don’t have any problem to play here. That’s the only clear thing,” Nadal said after winning his first singles match on the ATP Tour since August.”

Rafael Nadal takes shot at Novak Djokovic over visa row

Former footballer Bartlett on Djokovic

Thursday 6 January 2022 09:10 , Dylan Terry

Former English footballer Kevin Bartlett has mocked Novak Djokovic after the Serb was granted a medical exemption to enter Australia.

He tweeted: “Novak Djokovic is the greatest tennis player ever. Forget Laver, Agassi ,Federer, Sampras, Nadal, McEnroe, Connors and Borg for Novak has won 20 Grand Slams and 87 titles and a billion dollars without us knowing he had a debilitating medical problem.”

Djokovic taken to detention hotel

Thursday 6 January 2022 09:05 , Dylan Terry

Novak Djokovic has been taken to a government detention hotel as a court prepares to decide on his deportation on Monday.

The row is around an exemption he said he had to play in the Australian Open.

The tournament gets underway on Monday, January 7.

Outrage following original exemption

Thursday 6 January 2022 09:00 , Dylan Terry

After Novak Djokovic had initially been granted a medical exemption there was outrage from a number of high-profile figures.

Stephen Parnis, former vice president of the Australian Medical Association said in a tweet: “I don’t care how good a tennis player he is. If he’s refusing to get vaccinated, he shouldn’t be allowed in.

“If this exemption is true, it sends an appalling message to millions seeking to reduce #COVID19Aus risk to themselves & others. #Vaccination shows respect, Novak.”

And Victorian deputy liberal leader David Southwick tweeted: “We have had 6 lockdowns - schools and small businesses closed, funerals and weddings told not to go ahead, families separated for months on end and now a tennis star gets an exemption.

“A kick in the guts to every Victorian.”

Health minister on Djokovic visa

Thursday 6 January 2022 08:55 , Dylan Terry

The Australian Border Force confirmed Djokovic had failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the country’s entry requirements, causing his visa to be cancelled.

The tennis star was filing an injunction to prevent his deportation, a source said.

Health minister Greg Hunt said the visa cancellation followed a review of Djokovic’s medical exemption by border officials who looked “at the integrity and the evidence behind it.” He said Djokovic was free to appeal the decision, “but if a visa is canceled, somebody will have to leave the country”.

Could it end at 20-20-20?

Thursday 6 January 2022 08:50 , Dylan Terry

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have all won 20 men’s singles Grand Slam titles.

They now all face varied hurdles to overcome if they are to push ahead and claim a 21st championship in 2022 - Federer and Nadal with injuries and Djokovic with his anti-vaxxed status.

It couldn’t end all square, could it?

Djokovic expected to fly home

Thursday 6 January 2022 08:45 , Dylan Terry

As of 12 hours ago, the situation is that Novak Djokovic is expected to be on the next flight out of Melbourne due to visa issues.

There has not been any development since it was reported that his lawyers are expected to appeal the decision.

The Telegraph’s Oliver Brown said: “There is an increasing possibility that Djokovic will be on the next flight home.

“Both the Serbian Embassy and the Australian Ambassador to Serbia are now becoming involved. A lonely-looking Australian Open courtesy car still waiting for him outside airport.”

Djokovic’s Grand Slam tally

Thursday 6 January 2022 08:40 , Dylan Terry

Novak Djokovic is currently level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 men’s Grand Slam singles titles.

Here is the breakdown of his honours to date.

  • Australian Open: 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021

  • French Open: 2016, 2021

  • Wimbledon: 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021

  • US Open: 2011, 2015, 2018

Djokovic was granted exemption

Thursday 6 January 2022 08:35 , Dylan Terry

A reminder what Novak Djokovic said on Tuesday as he prepared to jet off to Australia with a medical exemption.

He said: “Happy New Year! Wishing you all health, love & joy in every moment & may you feel love & respect towards all beings on this wonderful planet.

“I’ve spent fantastic quality time with loved ones over break & today I’m heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let’s go 2022!”

Who else is in the men’s singles draw?

Thursday 6 January 2022 08:30 , Dylan Terry

So, who could benefit from Novak Djokovic’s likely absence from the 2022 Australian Open men’s singles draw?

Well, Daniil Medvedev was the last man to win a Grand Slam having picked up the US Open at the end of 2021.

Then there is the supremely talented Alexander Zverev who will also look to take advantage of the Serb’s bizarre non-attendance.

And what about 2009 champion Rafael Nadal? The Spaniard could move back ahead of Djokovic atop the all-time Slam list if he collects his 21st in Melbourne later this month.

Prime Minister involved in Djokovic case

Thursday 6 January 2022 08:25 , Dylan Terry

Such was the gravitas of Novak Djokovic’s visa situation that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was forced to release a statement on the matter.

It came after visa issues restricted the Serbian from entering the country following initial concerns over his unvaccinated status.

Morrison tweeted: “Mr Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules.

“Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from Covid, we are continuing to be vigilant.”

Djokovic’s dad on nightmare visa stand-off

Thursday 6 January 2022 08:20 , Dylan Terry

Novak Djokovic’s dad Srdan gave his take on the visa stand-off between his son and the Australian authorities just hours before it was announced he would not be allowed in.

Srdjan Djokovic said: “I have no idea what’s going on, they’re holding my son captive for five hours. This is a fight for the libertarian world, this is not just a fight for Novak, but a fight for the whole world!

“If they don’t let him go in half an hour, we will gather on the street, this is a fight for everyone.”

Nadal reacts to Djokovic situation

Thursday 6 January 2022 08:15 , Dylan Terry

Rafael Nadal has responded to Novak Djokovic being denied entry to Australia due to visa issues.

The Spaniard, who will compete in Melbourne later this month, was uncharacteristically outspoken on the matter.

He said: “The world has been suffering enough. Get vaccinated. If he wanted, he would playing here in Australia without problems.”

Serbian President labels Djokovic treatment as ‘harassment’

Thursday 6 January 2022 07:50 , Jack Rathborn

President Aleksandar Vucic claims Novak Djokovic has been a victim of “harassment”.

He has added that “the whole of Serbia” supports him during this episode.

While Australian PM Scott Morrison has rejected claims that the visa cancellation was due to “any particular position in relation to Serbia” and maintains the country is “a good friend of Australia”.

Novak Djokovic news: Are most tennis players vaccinated?

Thursday 6 January 2022 07:45 , Jack Rathborn

At least two others, Tennys Sandgren and Pierre-Hugues Herbert, are sitting out the Australian Open because they are not vaccinated.

A spokeswoman for the women’s professional tennis tour said Wednesday that 85% of the WTA’s top 100 players are fully vaccinated; a spokesman for the men’s professional tour tweeted late last month that the ATP’s top 100 vaccination figure was 95%.

Novak Djokovic news: Why is the Australian Open important to the world No 1?

Thursday 6 January 2022 07:40 , Jack Rathborn

Djokovic is on the precipice of history, one Grand Slam trophy away from finally overtaking rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most in the history of men’s tennis.

Entering the 2011 season, Federer owned 16 major titles, Nadal nine and Djokovic one.

Now each has 20. Djokovic, who last year eclipsed Federer’s mark for the most career weeks at No. 1 in the men’s rankings, already owns nine Australian Open championships, the men’s record.

Novak Djokovic news: Has Serb been vaccinated? Has he had Covid?

Thursday 6 January 2022 07:35 , Jack Rathborn

While Djokovic has steadfastly refused to explicitly say whether or not he received any shots to protect against the coronavirus, he would not have needed an exemption to enter Australia if he were fully vaccinated.

In April 2020, he issued a statement saying: “Personally I am opposed to the vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be able to travel.

But if it becomes compulsory, I will have to make a decision whether to do it, or not.” Two months later, he and his wife tested positive for the illness caused by the coronavirus after a series of exhibition matches he organized with no social distancing or masking.

Novak Djokovic news: What has been the reaction in Australia?

Thursday 6 January 2022 07:30 , Jack Rathborn

The news that Djokovic was on his way to Australia with an exemption — announced first by him via social media, then by Tennis Australia via press release — was not exactly greeted warmly in Melbourne, where most people endured months of strict lockdowns and harsh travel restrictions at the height of the pandemic.

More than 90% of Victoria state residents aged 12 and over are fully vaccinated. The about-face on Djokovic’s status upon his arrival was, not surprisingly, objected to by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who called it “harassment.”

Why was Djokovic initially granted an exemption and were there other players with one?

Thursday 6 January 2022 07:25 , Jack Rathborn

The state government for Victoria, where Melbourne Park is located, mandated full vaccinations for all players, staff and fans at the Australian Open unless there is a genuine medical reason.

Victoria state Deputy Premier James Merlino said medical exemptions would not be “a loophole for privileged tennis players” and would only be possible in “exceptional circumstances if you have an acute medical condition.”

Tennis Australia said Djokovic’s request for an exemption “was granted following a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts.” Neither Tennis Australia nor Djokovic revealed the reason he sought an exemption. Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said a total of 26 players or support staff applied for exemptions and a “handful” were granted.

Among the acceptable grounds were acute major medical conditions, serious adverse reaction to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or evidence of a COVID-19 infection within the previous six months.

Why was Novak Djokovic not let into Australia?

Thursday 6 January 2022 07:19 , Jack Rathborn

When Djokovic landed at the airport, the Australian Border Force canceled Djokovic’s visa, saying he “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted, “No one is above these rules,” and later said at a news conference that Djokovic’s exemption wasn’t valid but did not explain the details.

Novak Djokovic news

Wednesday 5 January 2022 22:28 , Lawrence Ostlere

Novak Djokovic faces deportation from Australia after his visa was revoked at a Melbourne airport on Thursday. The men’s tennis world No1 had claimed he had a medical exemption from being vaccinated against Covid-19 and had hoped this would allow him to circumnavigate Australia’s strict rules on entering the country.

However, the Australian Border Force said in a statement that Djokovic “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.” It added: “Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia.”

The incident has sparked an international diplomatic row, with Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic writing on Instagram: “In line with all norms of international law, Serbia will fight for Novak, truth and justice.” Djokovic, who was left stranded at Melbourne’s Tullamanrien airport overnight, filed an injunction to prevent his deportation.

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