Novak Djokovic sent off due to visa issues ahead of Australian Tennis Open

Nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is to be deported after his visa was revoked by the Australian government.

World No. 1 is set to issue an injunction to stop the deportation.

Djokovic was left stranded overnight in a police-guarded room at Melbourne Airport amid a visa mix that could derail his hopes of defending his Australian Open title.

The extraordinary, escalating soap opera surrounding the world’s best male player continued on Wednesday night as he flew straight into a political storm and a visa controversy on arrival at Tullamarine Airport after a 14-hour flight from Dubai.

The nine-time Open champion may have been armed with the vaccination exemption that will allow him to compete in Melbourne, but apparently not with the correct visa to enter the country.

The Age newspaper reported Thursday morning that Djokovic’s visa has been denied and he has been told to leave the country.

“Djokovic’s lawyers are in the process of challenging the decision, two sources familiar with the situation confirmed to The Age,” the newspaper reported.

The previous detention led his father Srdjan to tell the Serbian B92 internet portal: “Novak is currently in a room that no one can enter. In front of the room are two policemen.”

Srdjan also told Serbian media: “I have no idea what is going on, they are 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 do not let him go in half an hour, we will gather on the street. This is a fight for everyone.”

Djokovic was still waiting for permission to enter the country, and his team allegedly should have applied for a visa that does not allow for medical exemptions.

The 34-year-old, who is never a stranger to controversy, has found himself the subject of a major public setback in Australia after revealing on Tuesday that he had received the vaccination exemption, which allowed him to bid for a record-breaking 21st major title .

But in the midst of the storm, tournament director Craig Tiley insisted that world No. 1 receive no special treatment, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the player “would be on the next flight home” if he could not present the true evidence of his release. .

But Djokovic was involved in access issues when Victoria’s Sports Minister Jaala Pulford confirmed that the state government did not support his visa application, effectively putting his fate in the hands of the federal government.

Novak Djokovic from Serbia in action during Davis Cup Finals 2021, semi final 1, tennis match played between Croatia and Serbia in Madrid Arena pabilion on December 3, 2021 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Oscar Gonzalez / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

(Photo by Oscar Gonzalez / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Age newspaper said the federal border force had contacted the Victoria state government and asked if it would support his application after his team applied for the wrong kind of visa.

Pulford said in a tweet: “The federal government has asked if we will support Novak Djokovic’s visa application to enter Australia.

“We will not provide Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam.”

It was not clear whether the federal government would allow his entry, and the border force could not be reached for comment.

When Djokovic was left in isolation to consider this astonishing start to his journey, there were also growing demands that he should clarify any doubts as to the reasons why he had been granted the exemption.

Toni Nadal, uncle and longtime former coach of Djokovic’s great rival Rafael Nadal, urged him to clarify the situation.

Nadal wrote in his newspaper column in El Pais: “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 believe that Novak is no stranger to all of this and that he will clear up doubt as a sign of human sensitivity and understanding.”

Even the big Rod Laver, who fears that Djokovic’s participation on the pitch named after him in Melbourne Park could see his passions run high, wants him to the Serb to open up.

‘I think it can get ugly. I would think the Victorian people would think, “Yes, I would love to see him play and compete, but at the same time there is a right way and a wrong way”.

“If he has a reason for (the exemption), then … we should know.”

Australia’s No. 1 in the world, Ash Barty, said: “I think it’s a tough one. As we’ve seen a bit over the last day or so, from the Australian public, I know how hard it’s been. the Australians … but especially the Victorians have had a really hard trot over the last 18 months and two years.

‘I understand why they may be frustrated with the decision. In the end, I have no interest in talking about Novak’s medical history. That’s not my decision. Those decisions are made. They are completely out of my control. ”


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