NOVAK DJOKOVIC is yet to fully open up about his saga ahead of January’s Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic has reached his own deadline to open up on his Australian Open ordeal. The Serb, whose deportation from Australia in January concluded an incredible saga, said he would speak within 10 days on February 3.
All seemed well when the World No 1 landed in Melbourne in early January.
Djokovic had been granted a medical exemption by Tennis Australia due to him being unvaccinated against COVID-19.
But discrepancies were discovered in Djokovic’s visa and he was detained by Australia Border Force for around 10 hours at Tullamarine Airport.
What ensured was a remarkable legal back-and-forth between Djokovic and the Australian government.
Immigration minister Alex Hawke was keen for Djokovic to leave the country to protect a population that had endured strict and largely successful measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
An initial successful appeal appeared to allow Djokovic to defend his Australian Open title but that was then overturned and the 34-year-old was deported.
Djokovic remained silent about his experience until Feb 3 when he promised to speak more within 10 days.
“Those circumstances that happened to me in Australia taught me and that bond will last forever,” Djokovic said in a press conference alongside Serbia’s president, Aleksandar Vucic.
“Since I did not speak before, please be patient, in the next seven to ten days I will address in more detail everything that happened in Australia.”
Today (Sunday) marks the deadline for Djokovic to speak.
Fans will want to know more about how Djokovic was treated in the immigration facility, which his mother likened to a ‘prison’.
There will also be questions over whether Djokovic might U-turn on his vaccine stance.
It is not yet clear whether the French Open in May – the next Grand Slam on the calendar – will admit stars who remain unvaccinated against Covid.
The French Sports Ministry said on January 17 that there will be no exemption from a new vaccine pass law approved on Sunday.
Fresh legislation requires people to have vaccination certificates to enter public places such as restaurants, cafes and cinemas.
“This will apply to everyone who is a spectator or a professional sportsperson. And this until further notice,” the ministry said.
“As far as Roland Garros is concerned, it’s in May. The situation may change between now and then and we hope it’ll be more favourable. So we’ll see but clearly there’s no exemption.”