The nightmare continues for Novak Djokovic. After having arrived in Melbourne in preparation for the Australian Open, the world's number one tennis player has been denied his visa and ordered to leave the territory. The Serbian has filed an appeal in court to reconsider the expulsion.
'There will be no special rules for Novak Djokovic'
To refresh your memory, in order for players to participate in the first Grand Slam of the year, they must absolutely be vaccinated against the coronavirus. In the case of Novak Djokovic, who has openly rejected the vaccine, the tennis player made his way to Australia under the guise of a medical exemption.
But as soon as he arrived at Melbourne airport, Djokovic was detained by the country's authorities, who asked him to justify the now infamous 'exemption.' The Australian public, as well as key political figures such as the Australian Prime Minister—Scott Morrison, were less than thrilled about the antivaxxer's demand for special treatment. The PM said in a statement:
We are waiting for him to provide us with evidence to support this exemption. If that evidence is insufficient, then he will be treated no differently than anyone else, and he will go home on the first plane. There will be no special rules for Novak Djokovic.
All of Serbia behind Djokovic
With his visa now cancelled according to most recent updates, the Serb has been asked to return home as a result of failing to present 'the appropriate elements to enter Australia', explained the Australian border patrol. Djokovic is now being detained at an immigration detention hotel until his appeal is reviewed at a hearing scheduled on Monday, 10 January—seven days before the tournament officially begins.
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, who did not hesitate to accuse Australia of 'poor treatment' towards his favourite tennis player, said on social media:
I told our Novak that all of Serbia was with him and that our authorities were taking all the measures to stop the harassment of the best tennis player in the world as soon as possible.
The only thing that is certain at the moment is that this might very well have some serious repercussions for the rest of Djokovic's career. With vaccination requirements being pushed for in all corners of the world, could this be the end of the number one player's tennis career?