Novak Djokovic Thanks Supporters; The Australian minister says he is “free to leave at any time.”

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic poses with the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup after winning the 2021 Australian Open men’s final in Brighton Beach on February 22, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.

Andy Chung | Getty Images

Novak Djokovic broke his silence in Australia to thank supporters after the country’s Home Secretary Karen Andrews said he “can leave at any time” and is not in custody.

A 34-year-old man is being held in isolation at the Park Hotel in Carlton, Melbourne, pending an appeal against a decision by the Australian Border Force (ABF) to revoke the reigning Australian Open champion’s entry visa and deport him. The appeal is due Monday.

On Friday, Djokovic broke his silence by writing, “Thank you to people around the world for your continued support. I feel it and it is very valuable ”as part of the Instagram story.

He added in Serbian: “Thank you to my family, Serbia and all the good people around the world who are supporting me. Thank you dear God for your health. “

Earlier, ABF also canceled the visa of Czech tennis player Renate Vorakova before the Australian Open and detained her in the same immigration hotel as Djokovic.

ABF officials told Vorakova that she must leave the country, and the Czech Foreign Ministry later confirmed that she was out of the tournament.

“Renata Vorakova has decided to leave the tournament due to limited training opportunities and leave Australia,” it said in a statement Friday.

Doubles specialist Vorakova played in Melbourne earlier this week, but has since been detained by border officials as authorities revised the entry documents of the two people following the Djokovic drama.

Djokovic never disclosed if he was vaccinated against Covid-19, but criticized the rulings that require players to receive a double hit and posted them on social media before heading off to say he was “cleared for release.” …

Australian Home Secretary Andrews said Djokovic was not detained in the country under any duress, as he is awaiting consideration of his appeal to cancel his visa in quarantine.

“Mr. Djokovic is not being held captive in Australia,” she told ABC.

“He can leave any time he wants, and the border service will really help.

“We treat all people in immigration detention fairly and impartially.”

She added: “The visa was issued for entry, but this does not guarantee entry.

“He (Djokovic), along with any other person wishing to enter Australia, must also meet the entry requirements, which at this stage include medical proof of vaccination or, alternatively, medical reasons why that person cannot be vaccinated.

“He did not fulfill the requirements for entry – there is a lot of talk about the visa, but, as I understand it, the problem is not in this, but in the requirements for entry … that he could not provide the evidence necessary for entry. to Australia “.

Parents: He is crucified

On Thursday, Djokovic’s father held a demonstration outside the National Assembly building and said of his son: “He fulfilled all the prerequisites to enter and participate in the tournament, which he would certainly have won, as this is Novak, the best tennis player and sportsman. in the world.”

Srdjan Djokovic added: “Jesus was crucified and endured much, but is still alive among us. Novak is also crucified … he will endure. “

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic’s mother, Diana, and his father, Srdjan, hold a press conference as the player fights in Australia for visa cancellation and pending deportation at the federal court’s suit in Belgrade, Serbia on January 6, 2022.

Zorana Evtich | Reuters

The family also held an emotional press conference at his restaurant in downtown Belgrade, where his previous nine Australian Open trophies were showcased.

“They are holding him captive. They trample all of Novak, trample all of Serbia and the Serbian people, ”added his father Srdjan, who also told local media that his son was“ Spartacus of the new world ”.

He also said that the visa issue “has nothing to do with sports, it is a political agenda.”

His mother, Dijana, added: “They are holding him captive, it is not human and unfair.

“This is a political attack on Novak Djokovic … he is the scapegoat.”

At the Melbourne hotel in which Djokovic is being quarantined, Serb supporters continue to gather and say they will continue to do so until he is released.

Djokovic’s wife Elena thanked the player’s fans for “using their voice to send love to my husband.”

Supporters of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic rally outside the park hotel where the star athlete is expected to stay during his stay in Australia, in Melbourne, Australia on January 7, 2022.

Sandra Sanders | Reuters

In Instagram and Twitter posts about Christmas in Serbia, Elena Djokovic wrote: “Thank you, dear people, all over the world for using your voice to send love to my husband.

“I take a deep breath to calm myself and find gratitude (and understanding) in this moment for everything that is happening.

“The only law that we all must respect at all borders is Love and respect for another person.

“Love and forgiveness are never a mistake, but a powerful force. I wish you all the best! “

Becker: Djokovic makes a “big mistake” by not getting vaccinated

According to his former coach Boris Becker, Novak Djokovic is making a “big mistake” if he is not vaccinated against Covid-19.

Becker, who has been world number one and was twice the Australian Open champion and three Wimbledon singles titles, had a successful three-year partnership with Djokovic that included six Grand Slam victories.

The 54-year-old maintains a close relationship with the Serb, but believes their views on how best to defend against the coronavirus differ greatly.

“In this case, I think he is making a big mistake by not getting vaccinated,” Becker said in an interview. Daily mail… “This is one that threatens what is left of his career and his chance to cement his status as the greatest player of all time.

“I sat in his box four times when he won the Australian Open, so I am fully aware of his strengths as an incredible athlete. I also think he has a great personality that can easily be misunderstood.

“However, these strengths can also be weaknesses. The same incredible determination that I have seen winning many close matches can be a vulnerability due to his stubbornness. “

Becker believes that if Djokovic continues to hesitate about vaccinations, it could create more obstacles to his professional tennis career.

“He is incredibly strong-willed, with very strong convictions. If he doesn’t do it, then in 10 years he will look back at it and realize that he made a mistake, ”Becker said.

“This is not just about Australia. The fact is that we live in a different world, and it will be very difficult for him to live the life of a professional tennis player traveling without vaccinations.

“These are the rules, whether someone likes them or not.”

Nadal: Djokovic knew about the risks

Rafael Nadal criticized Djokovic for “breaking the rules”, saying: “If he wanted to, he would play without problems.

“He took his position, and everyone is free to take his position. But there are consequences. I don’t like the situation. In a way, I feel sorry for him.

“But he knew the terms a few months ago. He made his own decision. “

Since then, Australian Nick Kirgios has taken to Twitter to urge his country to “do better” on Djokovic.

Number 93 in the world wrote: “Look, I definitely believe in taking action, I got vaccinated for others and for my mom’s health, but the way we handle Novak’s situation is bad, very bad.

“Like these memes, headlines, this is one of our great champions, but at the end of the day, he is human. Do more success. “

Djokovic’s Aussie Open fiasco: what happened?

Djokovic flew to Australia with a “vaccine exemption” and arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday, but was ultimately denied entry into the country after nine hours at the airport.

The Serb’s visa did not allow for medical benefits and was revoked, after which he was quarantined at the hotel, as his team filed an appeal – this appeal was postponed until Monday.

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