Novak Djokovic news LIVE: Tennis star issues statement on threat of deportation from Australia

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Novak Djokovic news LIVE: Tennis star issues statement on threat of deportation from Australia
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Novak Djokovic is fighting against deportation from Australia after his visa was revoked at a Melbourne airport.

The tennis star, who is seeking his 10th Australian Open victory and a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title, has been blocked entry into the country by the Australian Border Force after he “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.” The ABF 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 decision has sparked uproar from Serbia with Djokovic’s parents accusing the country of treating their son “like a prisoner”. Rival Nick Kyrgios has called on Australian authorities to “do better” with home affairs minister Karen Andrews later countering by insisting Djokovic is not being “held captive” and is “free to leave at any time”. Two other people connected to the Australian Open have joined Djokovic in being instructed to leave the country, one confirmed as Czech doubles specialist Renata Voracova.

Follow all the latest news below.

Novak Djokovic news

  • Novak Djokovic breaks silence over Australian visa row

  • World number one has been ‘crucified’, says father

  • Nick Kyrgios criticises Australia’s treatment of Serbian star

  • Australia cancels another player’s visa, Renata Voracova

  • Leaked letter appears to put Tennis Australia at fault

  • Legal hearing set for 10am in Melbourne on Monday

Australia cautious over Covid

18:38 , Lawrence Ostlere

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.

Medvedev: Djokovic decision ‘very tough in real life’

18:13 , Lawrence Ostlere

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.”

PM: Djokovic alerted himself to authorities with statement

17:52 , Lawrence Ostlere

“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.”

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Phil Noble/PA) (PA Wire)
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Phil Noble/PA) (PA Wire)

Toni Nadal sends message to Djokovic

17:29 , Lawrence Ostlere

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.”

Rafael Nadal with uncle and trainer Toni (Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal with uncle and trainer Toni (Getty Images)

Djokovic tangled in career of contradictions

17:08 , Lawrence Ostlere

Sports writer Tom Kershaw:

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.

Full article:

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

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

16:46 , Lawrence Ostlere

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.”

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

16:22 , Lawrence Ostlere

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.”

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

16:01 , Lawrence Ostlere

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.”

What does Djokovic think about vaccines?

15:45 , Lawrence Ostlere

In April 2020 Djokovic said that he was opposed to vaccines. He later clarified that he was “no expert” but that he wanted to explore other options. During a Facebook event he said he “wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine” to travel to tournaments, and that he was “curious about wellbeing and how we can empower our metabolism to be in the best shape to defend against imposters like Covid-19.”

Djokovic has previous when it comes to questionable science. He has claimed before the positivity can cleanse water, saying: “Scientists have proven that molecules in water react to our emotions.” He also wrote in his book that a doctor highlighted weakness in his arm while holding a loaf of bread which was supposedly evidence of a gluten intolerance. His wife Jelena was hit with a misinformation tag on Instagram after posting a 5G conspiracy theory.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic (Reuters)
Serbia's Novak Djokovic (Reuters)

Djokovic latest news

15:38 , Lawrence Ostlere

Leaked letter appears to suggest Tennis Australia is to blame for the debacle. The letter, published by the Daily Mail, seems to show that Tennis Australia told players that proof of a prior Covid infection would see them pass through Australia’s tight borders.

“Guidance sent to players in early December and now leaked to the press lays out reasons that athletes can qualify for a ‘medical exemption’ to enter Australia, saying that ‘recently recovered cases’ will be allowed into the country,” the Mail’s report says.

“To qualify, players were told to provide a Covid-positive PCR test dated after July 31 along with antibody tests proving natural immunity ‘if available’. The leak will heap pressure on Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley to prove what he was told and when, and why exactly that guidance was issued.”

Djokovic speaks out

15:32 , Lawrence Ostlere

That Djokovic Instagram message initially celebrated Orthodox Christmas Day, before thanking fans for their “continuous support”.

Watch this story by Novak Djokovic on Instagram before it disappears.

Latest Djokovic news

15:29 , Lawrence Ostlere

Full story on the other players told to leave Australia:

Two more linked to Australian Open told to exit country after Novak Djokovic

Latest Djokovic news

15:20 , Lawrence Ostlere

Latest today: The process that led to the original decision to grant Djokovic an exemption now is under scrutiny. Tennis Australia insists the exemption was granted by an independent panel of medical experts, unaware of whose applications they were assessing.The cases of two other Australian Open players who also received health-based vaccine exemptions are currently being closely examined.The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday that Renata Voracova, a 38-year-old doubles player from the Czech Republic, also had her visa canceled and was taken to the same hotel where Djokovic is staying. Tennis Australia and Australia’s Home Affairs department did not immediately respond to calls for confirmation. It remained unclear who the third player was.

Djokovic’s father says son has been ‘crucified'

14:46 , Lawrence Ostlere

Novak Djokovic’s father claims the world number one has been made a scapegoat and been “crucified” in the row with Australian authorities over a Covid-19 medical exemption.

The Serbian is awaiting the outcome of an appeal against the decision by the Australian Border Force (ABF) to cancel the reigning Australian Open champion’s entry visa and deport him. With the appeal adjourned until 10am on Monday, Djokovic is being detained at the Park Hotel, a state-run quarantine facility in Melbourne which has also housed asylum seekers.

Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic claims Djokovic was the victim of “political persecution” by the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and others in the country’s government, calling on them to move him from the “horrific hotel” where he is being detained into a private rented house.

Back in Belgrade, Djokovic’s father Srdjan demonstrated outside the National Assembly buildings and addressed a media conference to highlight what the Serbian’s family and his supporters perceived to be an injustice Down Under.

“He met all the required conditions for the entry and participation at the tournament that he would have certainly won, since it’s Novak, the best tennis player and sportsman in the world,” Srdjan Djokovic told a press conference on Thursday. “Jesus was crucified and endured many things, but is still alive among us. Novak is also crucified… He will endure.”

Isner: Djokovic has been treated unfairly

14:33 , Lawrence Ostlere

American player John Isner said Djokovic had followed all rules and did not deserve to be treated this way.

“What Novak is going through right now is not right,” Isner said on Twitter. “There’s no justification for the treatment he’s receiving ... This is such a shame.”

Breaking: Djokovic breaks silence

13:50 , Lawrence Ostlere

Novak Djokovic has spoken out to thank fans for their support during the Australia visa saga.

Full story:

Novak Djokovic breaks silence over Australia visa row

Latest news: Two more instructed to leave Australia

13:48 , Lawrence Ostlere

Two other people connected to the Australian Open have joined Novak Djokovic in being instructed to leave the country by the Australian Border Force.

Djokovic has been detained since Thursday morning at an immigration facility in Melbourne after his visa was cancelled following scrutiny of the medical exemption he had secured to enter the country.

He has appealed against the decision and must wait for a hearing on Monday to discover his fate, but the furore focused attention on other exemptions granted to unvaccinated players who cited a recent infection to gain access to Australia.

An Australian Border Force spokesperson told the PA news agency: “The Australian Border Force (ABF) can confirm that its investigation into the visa status of two other individuals connected to the Australian Open has concluded.

“The ABF can confirm that one individual has voluntarily departed Australia following ABF inquiries.

“We can also confirm that the visa of a third individual has been cancelled. This person has been taken into immigration detention pending their removal from Australia.

“The ABF employ a multi-layered approach to border management. This includes avenues to investigate, locate and detain individuals who have been found to breach our border entry requirements after their arrival into Australia.”

PTPA: 'Djokovic has verified his wellbeing’

13:28 , Lawrence Ostlere

The Professional Tennis Players Association, an organisation founded by Djokovic and Canadian player Vasek Pospisil, has issued a statement following contact with the world number one.

It read: “The PTPA has been in close contact with Mr Djokovic, his family and legal counsel, government officials and Australian Open leadership. Mr Djokovic has verified his well-being to us.

“He has also requested that we allow him to personally share the facts of his detainment in his own words, and in his own time.”

Djokovic’s father furious

13:19 , Lawrence Ostlere

Hours earlier, Djokovic’s father claimed the world number one has been made a scapegoat and “crucified” in the row.

In Belgrade, Srdjan Djokovic demonstrated outside the National Assembly buildings and addressed a media conference to highlight what he perceived to be an injustice Down Under.

“He met all the required conditions for the entry and participation at the tournament that he would have certainly won, since it’s Novak, the best tennis player and sportsman in the world,” Srdjan Djokovic told a press conference on Thursday.

“Jesus was crucified and endured many things, but is still alive among us. Novak is also crucified... He will endure.”

Srdjan Djokovic had also said that his son was being singled out unfairly.

“Novak and his team filed the same documents as 25 other tennis players (who received exemptions) and they didn’t have any problems, just Novak,” Djokovic senior said in an interview broadcast by Sky News.

Djokovic hasn’t been let into Australia (Getty Images)
Djokovic hasn’t been let into Australia (Getty Images)

Kyrgios criticises Djokovic treatment

13:03 , Lawrence Ostlere

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios weighed in on Twitter to call for his country to “do better” in its treatment of Djokovic.

The world number 93 wrote: “Look I definitely believe in taking action, I got vaccinated because of others and for my mums health, but how we are handling Novak’s situation is bad, really bad.

“Like these memes, headlines, this is one of our great champions but at the end of the day, he is human. Do better.”

‘Djokovic doesn’t deserve to be in a refugee camp’

12:53 , Lawrence Ostlere

There was a small crowd outside the Park Hotel on Friday in Melbourne, where someone who gave her name only as Tatjana told the PA news agency the tennis player “doesn’t deserve to be in this refugee camp”.

“I’m here to support Novak, to set him free, because I think he doesn’t deserve what the Australian government has done to him and it’s not true when they said in the media that they treat everyone equally,” Tatjana said.

“I think Novak doesn’t deserve to be in this refugee camp and I don’t think you’ll see any other tennis player in this refugee camp.”

Jelana Djokovic thanks fans for support

12:40 , Lawrence Ostlere

Novak Djokovic’s wife Jelena has expressed her gratitude to the player’s fans for “using your voice to send love to my husband” as he remains held in Australia in a row with authorities over a coronavirus medical exemption.

The Serbian is in a quarantine hotel awaiting the outcome of an appeal against the decision by the Australian Border Force (ABF) to cancel the reigning Australian Open champion’s entry visa and deport him.

In Instagram and Twitter posts marking Christmas in Serbia, Jelena Djokovic wrote: “Thank you dear people, all around the world for using your voice to send love to my husband.

“I am taking a deep breath to calm down and find gratitude (and understanding) in this moment for all that is happening.

“The only law that we should all respect across every single border is Love and respect for another human being.

“Love and forgiveness is never a mistake but a powerful force. Wishing you all well!”

Novak Djokovic with his wife Jelena (Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic with his wife Jelena (Getty Images)

Djokovic latest news

12:12 , Lawrence Ostlere

Our top story this morning:

At least three other participants in the Australian Open with the same medical exemption as Novak Djokovic are already in the country with more potentially arriving over the next week. One of those three, Renata Voracova, has now been placed into detention.

Djokovic was spending the Orthodox Christmas in detention on Friday having had his visa cancelled on arrival in Australia when officials ruled his documentation was insufficient to allow him entry to the country while unvaccinated.

The political fallout, both domestically and abroad, intensified overnight as Djokovic’s legal team prepared documents aimed at extending his stay after a Federal court hearing in Melbourne on Monday.

Three players allowed into Australia with same vaccine exemption as Novak Djokovic

More on the Renata Voracova story

11:54 , Lawrence Ostlere

A second Australian Open participant has been placed into detention in a sweep by authorities on those who entered the country under the same vaccination exemption as Novak Djokovic, Czech authorities and ABC reported on Friday.

Czech Republic doubles specialist Renata Voracova had played in Melbourne earlier this week but has been asked to leave Australia after being detained by Border Force officials. It was unclear if she intended to challenge the decision, ABC reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

The 38-year-old made her grand slam debut in doubles in 2002 in New York but has won only one match in 12 appearances at the highest level and is currently ranked 81.

She is currently being held at the Park Hotel in Carlton, the same detention hotel where Djokovic is being detained.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said on Thursday authorities were reassessing the entrance documents of two people following the drama involving Djokovic.

In another development, the Herald Sun published an information sheet sent from Tennis Australia to players on Dec. 7 that shows it passed on advice regarding grounds for medical exemptions that differs from the recommendations it received from federal authorities.

The document advises a COVID-19 infection in the last six months could be considered grounds that would enable an unvaccinated player to enter the country, provided it was accompanied by documents certifying the infection.

It contradicts advice the Federal Government sent to TA in November stressing that a prior infection in the past six months did not meet the requirements for quarantine-free entry.

The Victorian Government said on Friday that TA did not advise them of this development.

TA has not commented publicly since Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley defended the exemption granted to Djokovic on Wednesday as the Serbian was on his way to Australia.

Meanwhile on court...

11:40 , Lawrence Ostlere

Top-ranked Ash Barty reached the Adelaide International semifinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin on Friday while Rafael Nadal advanced via a walkover in tune-up tournaments ahead of the year’s first Grand Slam event.Barty used her usual backhand slice and powerful forehand drive but also set down 17 aces and won 31 of 32 points on her first serve to advance. Barty lost to Kenin in the Australian Open semifinals at Melbourne Park two years ago.“I was able to look after my service games pretty well and it was a lot of fun playing out here again and to get a little bit more court time and to start to play a little bit better,” Barty said.On Wednesday, Barty beat Coco Gauff in three sets in her season opener after almost four months since her last competitive outing.“That’s what you want. It’s nice to come out here right from the start and know that you have to bring your very best level,” the 2021 Wimbledon champion said. “Obviously looking at these last two matches, there’s still work to do.”

Home favourite Ashleigh Barty (AP)
Home favourite Ashleigh Barty (AP)

Latest: Australia cancels another player’s visa

11:18 , Lawrence Ostlere

The Australian Border Force (ABF) has cancelled the visa of women’s tennis player Renata Voracova and detained her in the same immigration hotel as world number one Novak Djokovic ahead of the Australian Open, ABC News reported on Friday.

Voracova was informed by ABF officials that she had to leave the country and it was unclear if she intended to challenge the decision, ABC reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Nadal: Djokovic knew the conditions of entry

10:56 , Lawrence Ostlere

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.

“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.

“The only for me clear thing is if you are vaccinated, you can play in the Australian Open and everywhere, and the world in my opinion have been suffering enough to not follow the rules.

“He made his own decisions, and everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences,” he added of Djokovic.

“Of course I don’t like the situation that is happening. In some way I feel sorry for him. But at the same time, he knew the conditions since a lot of months ago, so he makes his own decision.

“The only thing that I can say is I believe in what the people who know about medicine says, and if those people say that we need to get vaccinated, we need to get the vaccine.”

Djokovic’s mother blasts conditions

10:35 , Lawrence Ostlere

Novak Djokovic’s mother said he was being held “like a prisoner” at a “dirty” state-run quarantine hotel in Melbourne as the saga over the world No 1’s botched entry into Australia continued to unfold.

After spending around 10 hours at Tullamarine airport on Wednesday, Djokovic was eventually transferred to the Park Hotel in Carlton where is now expected to stay until his appeal against the cancellation of his visa is heard at the start of next week.

After Djokovic’s attempts to change to his own accommodation were rejected by authorities, members of his family held a press conference in Belgrade on Thursday deploring the conditions of the Park Hotel – which has previously been subject to complaints of maggots and mould within the food served.

“I spoke with him a couple of hours ago, he was good, we didn’t speak a lot but we spoke for a few minutes. He was trying to sleep, but he couldn’t,” Djokovic’s mother, Dijana, said.

“As a mother, what can I say, you can just imagine how I feel, I feel terrible since yesterday, the last 24 hours. They are keeping him like a prisoner, it’s just not fair, it’s not human. I hope he will stay strong as we are also trying, to give him some energy to keep going. I hope he will win.’

“His accommodation [is] terrible. It’s just some small, immigration hotel, if it is a hotel at all. With bugs, it’s all dirty, the food is terrible. They don’t want to give him a chance to move to a better hotel or a rented house.”

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

10:23 , Lawrence Ostlere

Sports writer Tom Kershaw on the Djokovic saga:

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 warped ideology collided with reality and couldn’t still triumph regardless.

Of course, there is still no absolute clarity over whether Djokovic will be granted permission to compete at the Australian Open. After ten hours spent in stasis at Tullamarine airport on Wednesday, he was transferred to the supposedly bug-riddled quarantine facility in Carlton before being serenaded into the night by fans. His father, Srdjan, remained adamant that Djokovic 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 few can doubt Djokovic’s conviction in getting his own way.

Full article:

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

Djokovic has been ‘crucified’, says father

10:02 , Lawrence Ostlere

Novak Djokovic’s father claims the world number one has been made a scapegoat and been “crucified” in the row with Australian authorities over a Covid-19 medical exemption.

The Serbian is awaiting the outcome of an appeal against the decision by the Australian Border Force (ABF) to cancel the reigning Australian Open champion’s entry visa and deport him. With the appeal adjourned until 10am on Monday, Djokovic is being detained at the Park Hotel, a state-run quarantine facility in Melbourne which has also housed asylum seekers.

Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic claims Djokovic was the victim of “political persecution” by the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and others in the country’s government, calling on them to move him from the “horrific hotel” where he is being detained into a private rented house.

Back in Belgrade, Djokovic’s father Srdjan demonstrated outside the National Assembly buildings and addressed a media conference to highlight what the Serbian’s family and his supporters perceived to be an injustice Down Under.

“He met all the required conditions for the entry and participation at the tournament that he would have certainly won, since it’s Novak, the best tennis player and sportsman in the world,” Srdjan Djokovic told a press conference on Thursday. “Jesus was crucified and endured many things, but is still alive among us. Novak is also crucified… He will endure.”

Full story:

Novak Djokovic has been ‘crucified’ and is ‘prisoner’ in Australia, says father

Isner weighs in on Djokovic saga

09:47 , Lawrence Ostlere

American player John Isner said Djokovic had followed all rules and did not deserve to be treated this way.

“What Novak is going through right now is not right,” Isner said on Twitter. “There’s no justification for the treatment he’s receiving ... This is such a shame.”

John Isner has voiced his points on the topic (AP)
John Isner has voiced his points on the topic (AP)

Kyrgios criticises Djokovic treatment

09:36 , Lawrence Ostlere

Novak Djokovic has received support from one of his fiercest critics with Nick Kyrgios criticising the way the world number one has been treated in Australia and saying authorities must do better for “one of our great champions”.

Chasing a men’s record 10th Australian Open, Djokovic is holed up in immigration detention as his lawyers battle to secure his release to play in Melbourne and be exempt from strict Covid vaccination requirements.

Kyrgios, who labelled Djokovic a “tool” after the Serb sought to improve quarantine conditions for players ahead of last year’s Grand Slam, said the situation had been handled poorly.

“Look I definitely believe in taking action, I got vaccinated because of others and for my mum’s health, but how we are handling Novak’s situation is bad, really bad,” tweeted Kyrgios.

“Like these memes, headlines, this is one of our great champions but at the end of the day, he is human. Do better.”

Nick Kyrgios has played his last match of 2021 (Elise Amendola/AP) (AP)
Nick Kyrgios has played his last match of 2021 (Elise Amendola/AP) (AP)

Three other players admitted using same exemption

09:29 , Lawrence Ostlere

At least three other participants in the Australian Open with the same medical exemption as Novak Djokovic are already in the country with more potentially arriving over the next week.

Djokovic was spending the Orthodox Christmas in detention on Friday having had his visa cancelled on arrival in Australia when officials ruled his documentation was insufficient to allow him entry to the country while unvaccinated.

The political fallout, both domestically and abroad, intensified overnight as Djokovic’s legal team prepared documents aimed at extending his stay after a Federal court hearing in Melbourne on Monday.

Latest news:

Three players allowed into Australia with same vaccine exemption as Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic news

09:27 , Lawrence Ostlere

Novak Djokovic is fighting against deportation from Australia after his visa was revoked at a Melbourne airport.

The tennis star, who is seeking his 10th Australian Open victory and a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title, has been blocked entry into the country by the Australian Border Force after he “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.” The ABF 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.”

It has now emerged that three other players have been admitted to the country using the same exemption against having the Covid-19 vaccine, something which is likely to be used by Djokovic’s legal team when they fight to extend his stay at a federal court hearing in Melbourne on Monday. It is possible Djokovic could even play the Australian Open while his deportation fight rumbles on in the background.

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