Novak Djokovic’s preparations for the Australian Open continued on Wednesday, as the question of his presence in the country remained unresolved. Australia’s immigration minister Alex Hawke is still out on whether or not he should revoke the world’s No. 1 visa.
On Wednesday afternoon, Djokovic returned for his third practice session at Melbourne Park since he was released from immigration detention. With a small contingent of media present, Djokovic trained with young Australian Tristan Schoolkate and performed a series of exercises.
He had previously ensured that his practice was closed to spectators, with Rod Laver Arena’s doors closed during his sessions and the arena’s live stream turned off.
At the same time the Serbian was on the court, he posted a statement on Instagram referring to photos of him attending an awards ceremony for children: “I was asymptomatic and feeling fine, and had not received notification of a positive PCR test result until after that event ”- and an interview with the French newspaper L’Équipe after testing positive for Covid-19.
According to Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, the Department of the Interior is investigating the various issues that Djokovic addressed in his social media post – his incorrect Australia Travel Statement, his reported breach of Covid-19 rules in Serbia, and questions about the date of his Covid test, plus investigation from Hawke on his medical exemption.
The reception from Djokovic’s colleagues remains mixed. João Sousa, a Portuguese veteran and longtime top 100 player, described Djokovic’s attitude as “a bit selfish” towards his fellow players, a top 100 field that is now 97% vaccinated, according to the ATP.
“I can put myself in his shoes and understand what he’s going through,” Sousa said. according to Yellow Ball. “I understand what he believes, but he is a bit selfish with his colleagues because many of us, not me, did not want to get vaccinated and we had to do it to be able to play. It was the rules. It turns out to be a rule that Djokovic managed to circumvent. “
At a time when politicians have roundly criticized Djokovic, an understanding voice has come in the form of Matt Canavan, a National Party senator, who emphasized the need to reduce the situation.
“I don’t want to live in a world of strict bureaucracy in which if we make a mistake on a form, they will land us in jail. If there has been a mistake or a lie, he must be questioned again and see how or why it happened, “he said.
Meanwhile, the Women’s Tennis Association has dealt with the deportation of Renata Voracova, the Czech doubles specialist who was detained by the Australian Border Force and deported after Djokovic’s confrontation with the authorities.
“Renata Voracova followed these rules and procedures, received clearance to enter upon arrival, competed in an event, and then suddenly had her visa canceled when she had done nothing wrong,” the WTA said.
Unlike Djokovic, Voracova has blamed Tennis Australia and in a recent interview with AFP said that he expects compensation from the governing body.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism