Tennis

Novaxx Djokovic: Unjabbed Tennis Champ Threatened With Deportation from Australia

The men’s tennis number one Novak Djokovic has been threatened with deportation back to Serbia after his visa was rejected by Australian officials amid a mix-up with his application. There’s also the small fact that he is unvaccinated and claimed to be exempt from Australia’s rules about unvaccinated visitors, as well as the rule that only vaccinated players can compete in the Australian Open. MailOnline has more.

The No. 1 tennis star, who was left stranded at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport overnight, has been denied entry into Australia after initially being granted a medical exemption for the country’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements so that he could play in the Australian Open.

The 34 year-old was issued a letter by the Australian Government saying his visa had been denied and he would be deported, a source close to the tournament said tonight.

Australia’s Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed today that Djokovic’s visa had been cancelled, and Border Force issued a statement to that effect.

“The Australian Border Force will continue to ensure that those who arrive at our border comply with our laws and entry requirements,” a statement read.

“The ABF can confirm that Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.

“Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia. The ABF can confirm Mr Djokovic had access to his phone.​”

Djokovic’s lawyers are now gearing up to fight the visa cancellation in court, though it is not clear if the star player will stay in Australia during the case.

Meanwhile, Serbian President Aleksanda Vucic said on Instagram that he has spoken to Djokovic and added that Serbian authorities are taking measures “so the harassment of the best tennis player in the world be stopped in the shortest possible time”.

The tennis star will now be moved to a hotel in Melbourne under police guard until a deportation flight back to Serbia can be arranged.

Djokovik, who landed in Melbourne on an Emirates flight from Dubai at around 11.15pm, was initially placed in isolation after officials discovered his team had bungled his visa application to play in the Australian Open without being vaccinated.

It came just hours after Prime Minister Scott Morrison threatened to send the Serb back “on the next plane home” if he could not provide evidence for his vaccine exemption.

Worth reading in full.

Looks like it’s 30-15 to the Covid hysterics. But Djoko is a fighter so the game isn’t over.

Djokovic Granted Permission to Compete in Australian Open Despite Being Unvaccinated

There follows a guest post by tennis fan David Hansard, a contributor to the Daily Sceptic as well as Quillette and the Conservative Woman, about the news that Novak Djokovic, the highest ranked male player in the world, has been granted an exemption to the rule that all competitors in the Australian Open have to be vaccinated. Needless to say, this has annoyed a lot of Covid hysterics.

Contrary to many people’s expectations, world number one Novak Djokovic, has announced he is to compete for a tenth Australian Open title. Following months of doubt and speculation about whether he would be allowed to play, he has been granted a medical exemption from being vaccinated against Covid. The news came only 12 days before the tournament is due to begin.

Djokovic has always refused to reveal his vaccination status. It was assumed by many – correctly, it now turns out – that he has not been vaccinated. Under tournament rules everyone who attends – whether players, spectators, media or staff – must either be vaccinated or have an exemption.

As one of the fittest people on Earth, it was difficult to see how Djokovic would be granted an exemption. For a long time it seemed that his only option was either to get vaccinated or to miss out on what has been the most successful tournament in the champion’s career – he’s the current title-holder. The latter seemed the far likelier outcome. Djokovic’s challenge to Federer and Nadal as the male player with the most grand slam titles looked set to be delayed until later this year.

But after his request for exemption was granted by medical experts in Australia, he is now on his way to Melbourne.

It has delighted many but – as expected – it has also annoyed some in the tennis world, including Andy Murray’s brother Jamie. A lot of the reaction on social media has been particularly splenetic, whether against Djokovic himself, the tennis authorities, or the Victorian authorities, who have waived the need for him to quarantine for 14 days on arrival. The torrent of abuse began minutes after the news broke. Djokovic was immediately cast as evil and selfish, indifferent to others’ well-being. Tournament organisers were attacked for recklessly showing favouritism to a crowd-pulling player, prioritising profit over public health.

It does not seem to matter to most critics whether Djokovic has, in fact, got a valid reason for exemption, or even that exemption is allowed under the rules. For the most part they vaguely assume he is being dishonest, and that despite his application having been anonymously assessed by two independent panels, something nefarious is afoot. Nothing washes with them, including the possibility – as the BBC reports – that the exemption may have been granted because vaccination can be deferred if you have recently been infected with Covid. Tournament Director Craig Tiley has said some other players have already been granted exemption, yet Djokovic is the one in the cross hairs.

We will probably never know the reason for the exemption, and rightly so. It’s a private matter. But whatever the explanation, the response of his critics, though expected, is disappointing. Their intolerant and inflexible behaviour is distinctly authoritarian, something we have grown used to from the start of the pandemic.

Djokovic didn’t become the world number one – and arguably the greatest male player of all time – just because of his supreme tennis skills. It’s also thanks to his commitment, persistence and physical and mental resilience. Many who are unhappy with the tournament’s decision have expressed the hope that Djokovic will be punished by the crowd in Melbourne, and his performance adversely affected. That’s wishful thinking. Although Djokovic is not entirely immune to the feelings of spectators, his critics will be disappointed if they believe a few boos will prevent him from winning another grand slam tournament.

Stop Press: The Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison has threatened to put Djokovic “on the next plane home” if he can’t provide evidence of his vaccine exemption status.

Djokovic’s Vaccine Stance May Cost Him Entry to the Australian Open

We’re publishing a guest post today by David Hansard, a writer who has previous contributed to Quillette, the Conservative Woman and Cumbria magazine. It’s about the principled refusal of Novak Djokovic to refuse to disclose his vaccine status and the risks he’s taking in doing so.

Daniel Andrews, the self-satisfied Premier of Victoria, has said it is doubtful unvaccinated tennis players will be allowed to take part in the Australian Open in January.

Few are surprised by what Andrews said. It is entirely in keeping with his authoritarian response to Covid, which seems to get more dictatorial by the day. He is not alone among politicians. But like others in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, his policies seem to be reaching new heights of illiberalism.

Nine-times Australian Open winner, and world number one, Novak Djokovic, in particular, is not happy.

Djokovic first made his views about vaccinations known some months ago. He believes it should be a personal choice free of any pressure, let alone mandated. Last week, when asked, he refused to say if he has been vaccinated. He added: “It is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry. People go too far these days in taking the liberty to ask questions and judge a person.” 

I think it safe to say he has not been vaccinated.