Novak Djokovic breaks silence from detention hotel after Australian Open fiasco

Djokovic locked down in hotel awaiting visa appeal result

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Novak Djokovic has broken his silence after having his visa revoked in Australia. The world No 1 travelled to Melbourne with a medical exemption but had his visa cancelled after arriving late on Wednesday night and is now staying in a detention hotel in the city as he awaits the resumption of an appeal hearing on Monday. The nine-time Australian Open champion took to Instagram on Friday to thank his fans for supporting him.

Following months of speculation over his participation, Djokovic announced on Tuesday that he would be competing in the Australian Open after receiving “an exemption permission”, posting a photo of himself at the airport before flying to Melbourne.

It was then confirmed by Tennis Australia that the nine-time Australian Open champion was granted a medical exemption “following a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts,” including an independent panel appointed by the Victorian Department of Health, with both assessing all applications in line with the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) guidelines.

When he landed in Melbourne late on Wednesday, the world No 1 was then taken to an airport room by border officials who had found an “issue” with his visa, and could only provide “minimal” proof for his exemption, supported by just one doctor, when asked for more by Australian Border Force and the Victorian government.

After overnight questioning, Djokovic’s visa was cancelled on Thursday morning as border officials announced: “The ABF can confirm that Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled. Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia.”

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