‘Novak Djokovic’s been blocked at customs for seven hours’, says ATP star

“I am delighted and grateful that the judge canceled my visa cancellation. Despite everything that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete in the Australian Open. I stay focused on that. I flew here to play in one of the biggest events we have in front of amazing fans. For now I can’t say more, but thank you for being with me through all of this and encouraging me to stay strong.” Novak Djokovic wasted no time and, after the victory in court, he immediately reached the Rod Laver Arena in the company of Goran Ivanisevic, Marco Panichi and Ulised Badio. The Serbian champion has started training again, but the final decision on his stay in Australia will only be made in the next few hours by Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke. One of the factors that could play against Djokovic is related to the travel documentation completed before reaching Melbourne. The document presents a very specific question to be answered about journeys undertaken in the 14 days prior to the person’s arrival on Australian soil. Djokovic, according to official documentation, claimed he had not traveled in the 14 days preceding his departure. The Belgrade actually moved from Belgrade to Marbella to complete the preparation after 22 December. An error that could cost Djokovic dearly, because the law specifies: “Providing false or misleading information is a serious crime. You could face a civil penalty for providing false or misleading information”. Regardless of this latest background, the Minister of Immigration has decided to take a few more days to analyze all the documents in detail and make the best possible choice. The other big question mark concerns Djokovic’s behavior after testing positive for Covid-19.

Herbert reflects on Novak Djokovic

In a recent interview with francetvinfo.fr, Pierre-Hugues Herbert labeled the Novak Djokovic controversy in Melbourne a “saga” as the Serb prepares to defend his Australian Open title. “It’s a saga. Everything has taken on disproportionate proportions for two years, we asked a lot of things of the Australians,” Herbert told francetvinfo.fr. “It is a situation which is extremely special. For Australians, it is difficult to accept that an unvaccinated person can enter the country, when they have been practically locked up on their island for two years. That’s why I never considered going there. We are walking on our heads, because the world number 1 in tennis cannot play the Grand Slam in Australia, where he has won nine times,” he said. “He’s been locked in a hotel room for three days, he’s been blocked at customs for seven hours, he’s been treated like a fugitive when he’s not supposed to be an outlaw.”