The tennis star was hiding in a Melbourne quarantine hotel after her lawyers agreed to stay in the country for a court hearing on Monday in her case to overturn the federal government’s ban on her entry.
The saga, inspired by local political point-scoring about the country’s management of the record boom in the new COVID-19 infection, the Serbian president has claimed that his country’s most famous athlete is being harassed with an international line. “There are no special cases, the rules are the rules,” said the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison Said in a television media briefing. “We will continue to make the right decisions when it comes to protecting Australia’s borders in the face of this epidemic.”
Mr Djokovic’s visa has been revoked. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one above … https://t.co/OONyNdpAsT
– Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) 1641419815000
Djokovic, who has consistently refused to disclose his vaccination status while publicly criticizing mandatory vaccines, became angry when he said on Instagram on Tuesday that he had received a medical exemption to win a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam at the Open starting in January. 17.
The announcement sparked outrage in Australia, particularly in the tournament’s host city, Melbourne, which has suffered the world’s longest accumulated lockdown to eradicate the coronavirus.
Australia’s adult vaccination rate is about 91% higher by international standards and with Omicron variant case numbers being sent to record levels, there is less public sympathy for those who refuse to inoculate.
However, the Australian government’s move to block Djokovic’s entry has caused tensions between Canberra and Belgrade.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vuસીiકે said on Twitter that he had spoken to Djokovic and assured him that “the whole of Serbia is with him and our organizations are doing everything possible to bring an immediate end to the harassment of the best tennis player in the world.”
Morrison said he was aware that “representatives” had been made by the Serbian embassy in Canberra and denied the allegations of harassment. Morrison said it was a personal case and noted that Djokovic Drew attention, his anti-vaccination comments and possible reference to the Instagram post.
Djokovic’s father told media in Serbia that his son was taken to a secluded room under police guard when he landed at Melbourne’s Tulmarin Airport around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday after a 14-hour flight from Dubai.
During a hearing in Australia’s Federal Circuit and Family Court on Thursday evening, Djokovic and government lawyers agreed that the player could stay in the country until at least Monday, when a full hearing of his case is scheduled.
Djokovic’s lawyer Nick Wood told the judge earlier Anthony Kelly That Tennis Australia He was advised that he needed to know about his participation in the tournament by Tuesday. In response, Kelly said, “The tail won’t shake the dog here.”
Djokovic’s fate is linked to a political battle in Australia, between Morrison’s conservative administration and the left-wing Victorian government led by Premier Dan Andrews.
Australia’s daily Covid-19 infection reached a record high for the fourth day in a row, sparking more than 72,000 new cases, with hospitals struggling with overcrowding and labor shortages.
Under Australia’s federal system, states and territories can be exempted from vaccination requirements to enter their jurisdiction. However, the federal government controls international borders and may challenge such exemptions.
Djokovic flew to Australia after receiving a waiver from the Victorian government. That exemption – the reasons for which are unknown – supports his visa issued by the federal government.
Upon his arrival, however, Federal Border Force officials at the airport said Djokovic was unable to justify his release.
The Australian Task Force that sets the exemption parameters lists the risk of serious cardiac disease and COVID-19 infection from inoculation in the last six months as qualifiers. However, Morris said on Thursday that Tennis Australia had been advised weeks ago that the latest infection did not meet the criteria for immunity.
Government officials at Tennis Australia and Victoria said Djokovic had not received any preferential treatment, adding that it was one of “a handful” of approvals for exemption in 26 anonymous and independent assessments.
The Serbian has won nine titles at Melbourne Park, including the last three, but will face a huge crowd if he goes to court next week.
“I think it can be ugly,” said Australian tennis great Road Laver“The main court is named after him,” he told News Corp. “I think Victorians would think, ‘Yeah I would love to see him play and compete, but at the same time there’s a right way and a wrong way.’
Spanish champion Rafael Nadal He told reporters in Melbourne that he was sorry for Djokovic, “but at the same time, he knew the situation several months ago. He makes his own decisions.”