Inside Novak Djokovic quarantine hotel known for maggots, mould and fires

Novak Djokovic travelled to Australia raring to go after being granted an exemption by tournament organisers to play in the Australian Open.

However, any optimism was soon vanquished when the tennis legend had his visa cancelled by Australian Border Force.

Now he is on the verge of being deported, but with his team due to appeal the decision, the Serbian will not hear his fate until Monday.

Until then, Djokovic will be held at the quarantine Park hotel in Carlton, Melbourne, and was seen being transported there in a silver Volkswagen van in the early hours of the morning.

The hotel, however, located in an inner-city suburb of Melbourne, is a far cry from one of the lavish facilities the 20-time grand slam champion is accustomed to.

The building was previously named Rydges on Swanston and is near the Royal Women's Hospital and the University of Melbourne.

Since December 2020, the hotel has housed more than two dozen government detainees while they aim to secure a visa to stay in Australia.

Activists have held protests outside the hotel and messages have been written on the facility's walls in support of the detainees.

Fans of Djokovic were pictured gathering outside the building in support of their star man.

In October last year, there was a COVID-19 outbreak among refugees and asylum-seekers being held in the hotel.

It does not appear to have the best track record as reports suggested guests have complained about their food containing maggots and mould.

A little over a year ago, a fire broke out that led to minor injuries. The cause has not been determined.

Speaking from Australia, the double-vaccinated Rafael Nadal, perhaps Djokovic's greatest adversary, said he feels sorry for the Serb but also said he has known the terms of competing in Melbourne for several months.

“In some way, I feel sorry for him but he knew the conditions months ago,” Nadal said after beating Ricardas Berankis at the Melbourne Summer Set. “I don’t encourage nobody. Everyone has to do what they feel is good for them but there are rules and without the vaccine there can be some troubles. He’s free to take his own position, but then there are consequences.

“Of course what’s happening is not good for Novak, in my opinion. [But] if you are vaccinated, you can play in the Australian Open. We have been going through very challenging [time]. A lot of families have been suffering in the last three years. It’s normal that people here in Australia get very frustrated with the case because they have been going through all of very hard times.

“A lot of people were not able to come back home, so from my point of view I believe in what the people who know about medicine say. If the people say we need to get vaccinated, we need to get the vaccine. If you do this, you don’t have any problem to play here.”

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