Djokovic’s lawyers claim he contracted Covid-19 in December

The soap opera around the coming of world tennis star Novak Djokovic to Australia continues. Banned from entering the country for health reasons, the Serbian player believes he can be exempted from vaccination because he contracted Covid-19 in December.

“The date of the first positive Covid PCR test was recorded on December 16, 2021”, which would give the Serbian world No.1 an exemption from the vaccination imposed by Australia, the lawyers for the world No.1 said, in a document filed in federal court. His appeal is due to be considered on Monday.

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Time is running out with just over a week of the Australian Open which Djokovic has won nine times and where he aims to win his 21st Grand Slam tournament, which would place him at the top of tennis history, ahead of his two historic rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

His lawyers have also asked that he be able to leave the Melbourne detention center in order to be able to train.

“They keep him like a prisoner”: the mother of Novak Djokovic takes his defense

” Amazing work “

Caught in the whirlwind of the controversy, the boss of the Australian Federation con side rejected the criticisms, praising the ” amazing work “ of his teams in the soap opera Novak Djokovic. “We point the finger a lot and we blame a lot, but I can assure you that our team did an incredible job”, explains Craig Tiley, boss of Tennis Australia, organizer of the Australian Open, in a video for his teams, unveiled on Saturday by the “Herald Sun”.

The Federation is however at the center of criticism, after the cancellation of Djokovic’s entry visa to Australia, on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, on the grounds that he did not meet the strict conditions for entry into the territory imposed in as part of the fight against Covid-19. She has been accused of misleading players about Covid-19 vaccination obligations to enter the country.

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In a note sent to players and published by several Australian media, the organization assured that a person who recently contracted Covid-19 could benefit from an exemption from the obligation to be fully vaccinated.

The Australian government has assured to have warned Tennis Australia in November that this provision was only valid for Australian residents, not for foreign citizens wishing to enter the country.

Vaccine exemption, visa error, threat of deportation: Novak Djokovic’s crazy week in Australia

“A bit like in prison”

“We understand the current situation and we are working closely with Novak and his team, as well as with other people and their team, who find themselves in this situation”, Tiley adds in the leaked video.

Another tennis player, Czech Renata Voracova, is in the same detention center as Novak Djokovic after also having her Australian visa canceled, she said in an interview with Czech dailies DNES and Sport. “They bring me food and there is a guard in the hallway. Everything is rationed. I feel a bit like in prison ”, said this 38-year-old doubles specialist.

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The boss of Tennis Australia explains that the Federation has chosen not to speak publicly because of the appeal filed by Djokovic. But Tiley assures us that his team did “Whatever she could do according to all the instructions given to her”.

For his part, the world No. 1 thanked his supporters around the world. “Thank you to people around the world for your continued support. I can feel it and greatly appreciate it ”, the 34-year-old wrote on Instagram.

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“He’s going to be mad”

About 100 vaccine supporters and activists were banging drums and chanting “Novak” Saturday in front of the Melbourne detention center, where the Serb would be held pending the examination of his appeal on Monday. Elsewhere in the city, a demonstration brought together hundreds of anti-vaccines. Some claimed their support for Djokovic.

Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios, who had a heated exchange with the “Djoker” in the past predicted on Saturday that if the world No.1 managed to compete in the Australian Open, he would be unstoppable. “If he’s allowed to play the Australian Open, I don’t want him. I think he’s going to be mad “, he said on the sidelines of a preparation tournament.

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The Australian imbroglio is already asking questions about the rest of his season, if he does not get vaccinated, including tournaments in the United States, where the vaccine is mandatory to cross the border.

The next Grand Slam tournament is Roland-Garros in the spring and French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu assured Friday that “Health protocols imposed for major events by the federations” allow “For someone like Novak Djokovic to be able to enter the territory” from France.

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