Novak Djokovic seems to be blaming everyone else for the mistakes made on his way to the first Grand Slam of the year. The Australian Open is known as the happy slam, but there’s been more controversy than excitement heading into this year.
The world’s No. 1 men’s tennis player was denied entry into Australia over a visa issue on January 6 despite receiving a medical exemption from the Covid-19 vaccine requirement.
The Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt has said Djokovic failed to provide enough evidence to be exempted.
While Djokovic has never come out and said if he’s received the vaccine, we can assume that he’s not – he’s been vocally opposed to the vaccine since early in the pandemic.
There has been outrage from Australians due to residents experiencing some of the strictest lockdowns throughout the last two years. Djokovic’s home country, Serbia, has been equally outraged – Serbian President Aleksander Vucic said, ‘I told our Novak that all of Serbia is with him and that our authorities are taking all measures to stop this harassment.”
After his visa was canceled, he was sent to a temporary detention facility in Melbourne, where he was to await his hearing on Monday, January 10. However, Djokovic’s visa cancellation was overturned, and he was ordered to be released from the facility within 30 minutes of the ruling.
The Australian Open draws have been released, and he is set to play against fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, but his fate is still wide open. Australia’s immigration minister can still decide to cancel the visa a second time and deport him. If the visa is canceled again, it will prohibit Djokovic from entering Australia for three years.
This would be a massive blow for the 34-year-old No. 1 player who has won the Australian Open a record nine times.
So, what’s next? A possible decision by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke tomorrow, Friday, January 14, on whether to cancel Djokovic’s visa. In the meantime, Djokovic and his team have been seen practicing on Rod Laver Arena.