World No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled and he has been told to leave the country, two sources confirmed to The Age.
Djokovic’s lawyers are in the process of appealing.
Djokovic, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, has not demonstrated to the Border Force sufficient evidence for his exemption.
“Happy New Year, everybody! Wishing you all health, love, and happiness in every present moment and may you feel love & respect towards all beings on this wonderful planet,” Djokovic said in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
“I’ve spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I’m heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let’s go 2022!”
The Serbian president talked with Djokovic
Djokovic hasn’t left the Melbourne Airport since landing on January 5 and he was reportedly inside a room without members of his accompanying entourage and without a mobile phone.
“Just got off the phone with with Novak Djokovic. I told our Novak that the whole Serbia is with him, and that our authorities are taking all measures to stop the harassment of the best tennis player in the world in the shortest possible period. In accordance with all the norms of international public law, Serbia will fight for Novak Djokovic, for justice and truth. Otherwise, Novak is strong, as we all know him,” Vucic said in an Instagram post.
Djokovic’s dad accused Australian authorities of holding his son “captive.”
“I have no idea what is going on,” Djokovic’s father, Srdjan, told Serbian media. “They have been holding my son captive for five hours.
“If they don’t let him go in half an hour, we will gather on the street.
“This is a fight for everyone.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison indicated Djokovic could be told to return home.
“If that evidence is insufficient, then he won’t be treated any different to anyone else and he’ll be on the next plane home,” Morrison said.
“There should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic at all. None whatsoever.”