Novak Djokovic, wife speak out after tennis star denied entry to Australia over COVID vaccine controversy

As Novak Djokovic continues to wait at a Melbourne hotel to see if he will be deported or can remain in Australia, he and his wife have thanked his supporters for staying with him.

On your Instagram storyDjokovic thanked people around the world “for their continued support”, noting that “you can feel it and it is greatly appreciated.”

His wife, Jelena Djokovic, too thanked the tennis star’s fans on Twitter. He said he was “taking deep breaths to calm down and find gratitude (and understanding) right now for everything that is happening.”

“The only law that we should all respect across borders is love and respect for another human being. Love and forgiveness are never a mistake, but a powerful force,” Jelena Djokovic wrote on Twitter.

Djokovic arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday, a day after he was granted a medical exemption to play at the Australian Open despite strict COVID-19 restrictions in the nation. After a nationwide uproar, Djokovic was detained upon entry and his visa was canceled after the Australian Border Force noticed an error in his medical exemption application. He will remain at the Park Hotel, which houses detained immigrants, until Monday, when an appeal will take place over the denial of his visa.

Australia requires that anyone entering the country be vaccinated and as such, Australian Open participants were required to be vaccinated as well. Medical exemptions require acute conditions to avoid the need for quarantine if you enter the country. Djokovic’s medical exemption had been approved by two medical panels organized by Tennis Australia and the Victorian state government, but the ABF said it lacked evidence to support its need for an exemption.

Djokovic has spoken out against vaccines in general, although he has not publicly stated whether he has received the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the BBCDjokovic said in April 2020 that he was “opposed to vaccination” before later noting that he is not an expert and would have an “open mind.” He also said that he would not be forced to get vaccinated to travel or compete.

Djokovic is not the only player who has had trouble entering the country for the Australian Open, as the Associated Press reported Two other people related to the tournament were also under investigation for visa issues. One of them is Renata Voracova, a doubles player from the Czech Republic. From the country Embassy in Australia announced she has decided to leave the tournament and return home after being detained at the same hotel as Djokovic.