Sunday, January 16

Australian Open: Novak Djokovic comes out of silence on his vaccination situation

Held in a hotel since the cancellation of his visa on his arrival in Melbourne on January 5, and pending the examination of his appeal, Novak Djokovic explained on Saturday the reasons for his exemption from vaccination.

This is a new episode in what has become “the Djokovic affair”. The Serbian tennis player, who had invoked an exemption from vaccination, admitted to having contracted Covid-19, as evidenced by a positive PCR test recorded on December 16, 2021.

Filed this Saturday with the federal court to try to cancel the rejection of his entry visa to Australia, this document finally lifts the veil on the controversy around the player’s vaccination.

The event comes shortly after criticism of the Australian Tennis Federation. While Craig Tiley, boss of the organization, recognized the “incredible work” of his teams on the management of this file, the Federation would indeed have misled the players. The latter would not have been clear enough about the obligations in terms of vaccination against Covid-19 to enter Australian territory.

And Novak Djokovic would not be the only one to pay the price. Another player, the Czech Renata Voracova, also had her visa canceled.

The defense of the Serbian tennis player seems to be strengthening. However, the world number 1, supposed to play from January 17, is still awaiting the examination of his appeal.

A complicated preparation

The world tennis star has also, through his lawyers, requested his transfer to a detention center in Melbourne in order to be able to train. Currently retained at the Park Hotel, the preparation of Novak Djokovic is not the most optimal to approach the first Grand Slam tournament of the season.

On the side of his colleagues and opponents, if Rafael Nadal did not make excuses for the behavior of the Serbian, Nick Kyrgios has meanwhile provided his support through a tweet.

The Australian, who has had turbulent exchanges in the past with the 34-year-old tennis player, predicts a raging “Nole” on the court, if he manages to participate in the Australian Open. “I think he’s going to be mad,” he admitted.

The fate of Novak Djokovic will therefore be decided on Monday, January 10, but the Australian controversy is already asking questions about the rest of his season.

What will be the strategy of the world number 1 to participate in the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments in the spring? Because indeed, the vaccine is compulsory to cross the American border. Regarding Roland Garros, scheduled for May 2022, the French Minister of Sports assured that “the health protocols imposed for major sporting events” would allow Djokovic to enter France.

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