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Novak Djokovic has returned home to adoring fans in Serbia after his visa debacle ended with his deportation from Australia, meaning he is unable to defend his season opening Grand Slam title.
The public opinion in Australia was largely against the world No 1 being allowed into the country despite not being vaccinated against Covid-19, however on his arrival back into his home country he was lauded with supporters at the airport.
Even when he arrived in Dubai on a stopover ahead of his six hour flight back to Europe he was asked to take selfies while he personally wore a mask before being taken on a buggy to his departure gate.
Fans at Belgrade Airport weren’t treated to an appearance from the six time Wimbledon champion as he was whisked away to his luxury apartment as soon as the wheels touched down on the airfield, but this didn’t stop the messages of support.
Chants of “You are our champion Novak!” and “We love you Nole!” could be heard outside the airport, but one fan, Marko Strugalovic, took his support of Djokovic even further, he said: “I think he entered the country as a hero, as a man and as a fighter against this evil which is called corona-circus.
“Nole, you are a king, you are an emperor, Nole is the greatest legend walking the earth, he is a living saint.”
After it was announced that the 34-year-old had lost his second appeal hearing to stay in Australia after being successful in the first, and was therefore forced out of the country, he made a statement about his situation.
“I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past few weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and the tournament I love,” he said.
The reality is that while Djokovic isn’t vaccinated against Covid-19, this saga won’t be a one off and the French government have been quick to warn him about it.
It was revealed that the reigning French Open champion may not be able to defend his title at Roland Garros either due to a new vaccine pass law which is currently in place in the country.
This poses the question, how long can he keep hold of his No 1 spot and how long will it take until Rafael Nadal, or even Roger Federer, overtakes him to be the player to have the most Grand Slam wins to their name.
The article Novak Djokovic news: The Serbian is welcomed back home with open arms appeared first on Tennis365.com.