Tennis legend, Novak Djokovic, has thanked fans from “around the world” for their support as he sits in a hotel waiting to learn if he will be deported from Australia.
Djokovic landed in Australia earlier this week to begin peparations for the Australian Tennis Open but he was denied entry to the country and sent to a detention center in Melbourne while he waits to challenge the decision in court on Monday morning.
Djokovic, who has expressed his opposition to vaccination mandates, had been granted a medical expemption to play in the Australian Open. The decision angered many Australians who have experienced one of the world’s harshest lockdowns since the beginning of the Covid pandemic nearly 24 months ago. Some 90% of the Australian population have been vaccinated against the Coronavirus but they still face heavy restrictions as the number of those infected continues to rise.
The medical exemption was given to Djokovic by two independent medical panels organised by Tennis Australia and Victoria State. On Wednesday, however, Djokovic was detained by the Australian Border Force for “failing to provide appropriate evidence”.
Father of Novak Sjokovic, Srdjan, confirmed that his son was being held in a room guarded by police and said that it was “not just a fight for Novak, but a fight for the whole world”.
He continued to say: “My son is hostage in Australia tonight but he has never been more free.
From this moment, Novak has become a symbol and leader of the free world, the world of countries and of poor and oppressed people.
My son Novak Djokovic showed that even a small and heroic country like Serbia can have the best athlete and tennis player of all time and the truth can no longer be hidden.
Tonight you can incarcerate it, tomorrow you can chain it up but the truth is like water and it always finds a way.
Novak is the Spartacus of the new world who does not tolerate inustices, colonialism and hypocrisy but fights for the equality of everyone on this planet, without looking at skin colour, religious faith and how much money they have.
Novak has proven that you can achieve any goal if you have a dream and his dream is shared by billions of people including children who look up to him as an example.
Maybe the rich world won’t allow him to continue playing tennis but in doing so he will reveal his true face and start a much more serious match.
On one had there will be greedy and arrogant members of the global oligarchy and on the other, a proud and free world that still believes in justice, truth, fair play and the dreams of their children.”
The Australian Open will begin on 17 January. Djokovic is hoping to win the tournament for the tenth time and become the world’s most successful male tennis player with 21 Grand Slams to his name.
Menawhile, the Czech government have confirmed that Renata Voracova has also had her Australian visa cancelled. The Czech foreign ministry said that she was being held in the same facility as Novak Djokavic but that she now intends to drop out of the Australian Open and leave the country.