Novak Djokovic wished everyone a happy new year on January 4, the day on which the confirmation, by Tennis Australia, that he had received a medical exemption to travel and play the ‘Grand Slam’, had been notified.
The tennis player, who spent the end of the year at his residence in Marbella with his wife and two children, allegedly had the Covid antibodies after having passed the disease in the last six months. He had already been infected two years ago during the Adria Tour, a series of exhibitions organized by himself in different parts of the Balkans.
While Djokovic flew in the direction of Melbourne, a stopover trip that lasted 20 hours, he was oblivious to all the controversy that his entry into the country without the vaccine aroused among the Australian citizen.
All the local media reported that the world’s number one could cross the border without vaccination when many families had been without seeing their loved ones for the last two years.
The uproar caused Australian politicians, supported by an independent committee of experts, to go from giving the go-ahead to Nole’s arrival to looking at what obstacles they could argue to leave him detained and without a visa.. That is exactly what happened.
The 20 grand champion landed in Melbourne on Thursday night at around 11.30pm, accompanied by Croatian Goran Ivanisevic, one of his two coaches, and Argentine physiotherapist Uliss Badio.
His surprise was when he was invited to enter a room, alone, guarded by two uniformed policemen, and without the possibility of using the mobile phone.
At that moment, the tennis player understood that they would deny him the visa, something that happened after a long wait of eight hours. During that time, his father Srdjan Djokovic became angry with the Australian authorities and encouraged his compatriots to take to the streets in protest.
The situation of the Belgrade player became a matter of state. The Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs took the reins, who asked his Australian colleague for the immediate release of Nole.
Faced with the lack of success, the country’s president, Aleksandar Vucic, entered the scene. It didn’t matter. Noval was sentenced. This was confirmed by the Aussie Prime Minister, Scott Morrison: “No one is above the rules. Our strong policies have been instrumental in Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID“.
Without your belongings
To Djokovic, treated like a criminal and who has not yet recovered his wallet and luggage, He was taken from the airport to be transferred to the Park Hotel, in the suburbs of Melbourne and for refugees without a visa, which has nothing to do with the luxurious apartment where he was going to stay during his stay.
In the city Ivanisevic and Badio were waiting for him, who could not have physical contact with the player. Neither did the hundreds of Serbian supporters who crowded the entrance of the residence with flags of their country..
‘Nole’ approached the window several times to say thank you, blow kisses and draw a heart. It should be remembered that his motto is love and peace and that he sends love to the stands at the conclusion of all his matches that end in victory.
Lawyers for the nine-time Australian Open champion filed a lawsuit to stop immediate deportation.
It had to be today and not until Monday, when a judge reviews your case and whether or not the medical exemption is valid.
Whatever happens, Novak, of orthodox religion and who boasts of it with the wooden cross that hangs from his neck, spend his Christmas day alone and locked up tomorrow. He asked permission to meet with his technical body and has been denied.
This image contrasts with the awards for the best tennis player on the planet that arrived just a few dates ago. The newspaper L’Equipe named him the best athlete of 2021, the International Tennis Federation recognized him as number one in the last campaign, and 26 European news agencies voted him the best athlete of the old continent last season ahead of Robert Lewandowski and Max Verstappen.