Controversy, confusion and embarrassment have followed World Number 1, Novak Djokovic to Australia.
He has not made it through border control after landing in Melbourne for the Australian Open and the stake on his visas application resulted in him being held up at the airport.
Djokovic’s visas has been cancelled and he has been told to leave the country.
Australian Open organisers had said that Djokovic would be allowed to play at this year’s first Grand Slam despite not being fully vaccinated for COVID-19. The rules for the Tournament are that players must either be fully vaccinated or have a medical exemption, and organisers have given Djokovic the exemption he needs. Djokovic has never publicly revealed his vaccination status.
Djokovic’s lawyers are set to appeal against the decision to deport him, and Serbia’s President has thrown his support behind Djokovic.
President, Aleksander Vucic said: “I told our Novak that the whole of Serbia is with him, and that we are doing everything we can to see that harassment of the World’s best tennis player is brought to an end immediately.”
The Women’s World number 1, Ashleigh Barty of Australia says she understands the frustration felt by many in Australia over the initial decision to give Djokovic an exemption.
Barty is playing in a warm-up event Adelaide as she aims to become the first Australian woman to win her home Grand Slam since 1978.