“The world has already suffered enough not to follow the rules,” said Nadal.
His Serbian rival, held in a Melbourne hotel, will find out on Monday if he is expelled from Australia.
Novak Djokovic will know on Monday if he will be expelled permanently from Australia. Meanwhile, the world tennis number one, who expected to fight for a tenth win in Melbourne (the first Grand Slam of 2022 begins on Monday the 17th), is being held in a hotel now destined for deportees and people without a visa. He is held incommunicado while the team of lawyers he has hired tries to avoid deportation at all costs. The case plays against the tennis player, with a diplomatic clash on the part of Serbia and with the Australian immigration policy at stake.
In fact, Djokovic is very lonely, excluding his family, the Serbian authorities and some anti-vaccine ‘messengers’ operating on social media. None of the great stars of his sport came out in his support. This Thursday, when they asked Rafael Nadal Regarding the situation that his great rival is experiencing, the Mallorcan player not only disapproved but also made a strong defense of vaccines and the need to fight together against the covid 19 pandemic. Precisely, Nadal has traveled to Australia after contracting the disease with “very hard symptoms” after playing in the United Arab Emirates. “I do not like what is happening. And I feel sorry for him. But he knew the conditions for many months. He was the one who made his own decision,” said the Mallorcan tennis player from Australia where he plays the Melbourne Summer Set.
⚠️ An Australian court will analyze the entry ban on Djokovic on Monday.
🎾 Melbourne Judge Anthony Kelly ordered both parties to deliver their arguments over the weekend.
– EFE Sports (@EFEdeportes) January 6, 2022
“Vaccinated you can play the Australian Open and wherever. The world has already suffered enough not to follow the rules. I believe in what those who know about medicine say, and if they tell us that we should be vaccinated, then we do it”, added Nadal, in the opposite field of Djokovic. “There are many families who have suffered during these two years of pandemic so it is normal that here in Australia there are many people frustrated with this issue because they have faced several confinements.”
This Thursday, at the Victoria state (with 6.6 million inhabitants), whose capital is Melbourne, 22,000 new cases of covid were reported with 631 hospitalized and a percentage of 92% vaccinated. As reported by the local press, Djokovic He was detained at the immigration controls at Tullamarine airport by agents of the Australian Border Force, in charge of ensuring control at the country’s customs.
#EFEPhoto | Djokovic fans support the Serbian outside the Park Hotel in Melbourne, where the tennis player is.
– EFE Sports (@EFEdeportes) January 6, 2022
Melbourne’s ‘The Age’ newspaper reported this Thursday that at passport control Djokovic could not give convincing explanations that the covid had passed in less than six months, which would allow him to have entered the country without being vaccinated. He only had the signature of a doctor, which is why the customs police did not authorize him to enter Australia and he was guarded in an airport lounge by two agents.
Meanwhile, Serbian diplomacy, with the direct intervention of the country’s president, Aleksandar Vucic, of conservative and nationalist ideology, pulled strings to try to ensure that Djokovic could play the Australian Open. At the same time, a team of lawyers was hired to the tennis player who avoided the immediate deportation of the player, pending the decision that the judge, named Anthony Kelly, take next Monday. The situation of ‘Nole’ is very complicated, with criticism from the local federal government for having obtained a medical exemption from the tournament organizers and after it was also known that a tennis player and a federative official were being investigated for having entered to Australia without the full vaccination schedule. The newspaper ‘The Age’ explains that these two cases are better argued than that of Djokovic with the signature of more than one doctor.
Without the papers in order
Thus, the Serbian tennis player, unable to give convincing explanations, was taken to the Park Hotel, which is now used to confine people who do not have the proper papers to enter Australia. It is a four-star hotel that currently does not offer rooms in any of the internet search engines. Djokovic he is without contact with the outside, where groups of sympathizers have gathered to show him support.
#Djokovic Supporters light candles and sing songs outside the Melbourne hotel where the professional tennis player performs to mark Orthodox Christmas Eve. Some have rushed after church. In the video they are singing “Nole”, the nickname of the professional. # AO2022 #Melbourne #Novak Djokovic pic.twitter.com/u1RaGPop3K
– Marta Pascual Juanola (@ MartaPascual3) January 6, 2022
“The Border Force considered that the documentation of Djokovic To enter Australia was minimal, so he proceeded to send him to a hotel where people without proper papers are held, “the same newspaper indicates. DjokovicIn addition, he risks a punishment that would prohibit him from traveling to Australia for three years, although the local media consider that it will be difficult for him to be sentenced as there is no bad faith in his attempt to enter the country.
Even so, his father’s statements have not sat well in Australia, Srdjan djokovic, who spoke of “captivity” and considered the son “a symbol of the free world” in the midst of the outbreak of the covid. His father also called for the mobilization: “We will take to the streets because Novak is Serbia and Serbia is Novak.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.