Italian tennis star Matteo Berrettini said he has sympathy for Novak Djokovic but added that he understands the frustration of the Australians.
Djokovic announced on Tuesday he was granted a medical exemption for the Australian Open and he landed in Melbourne on January 5.
Djokovic was detained for nine hours at the Melbourne Airport before he was told his visa was cancelled to leave the country.
“It is clear that I have sympathy for Novak. No one would want to find themselves in such a situation. I don’t know how many hours he was detained. but it’s not nice to be in that kind of situation. At the same time, I can understand why the Australians feel this way, I think Melbourne has had the longest quarantines in the world, so I can understand people. It is a very complicated situation to comment on,” Berrettini said, per We Love Tennis.
Australian Prime Minister had a message for Djokovic
Scott Morrison made it clear no one is above the rules, not even 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic.
“Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant,” Morrison tweeted.
Djokovic’s mother Dijana said the everything that has transpired over the last two days has been very difficult for her.
“It is very difficult for me to go through this. No one deserved this kind of treatment, especially not him. This is a political position, that he cannot play, it is a scandal. To put him in dirty hotels, to have no contact with us, is an unprecedented treatment,” Dijana Djokovic said.
Djokovic has appealed the decision and will stay in Melbourne until the court makes its ruling.