Drama Down Under for Djokovic
In a saga that is still unfolding, the last 48 hours has seen the world’s number 1 male tennis player fly to Australia in high spirits, with a medical exemption. He’s hoping to compete in 2022’s first Grand Slam of the year. It’s there that the Serbian is seeking his 21st Slam title, which would be a record unmatched by rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, all standing on 20 slams each.
As has widely been reported; it’s believed that one qualifying exemption according to the Australian Tennis Association, besides acute medical conditions, is having Covid within the last 6 months. This is what most people suspect is the case for Novak, who has been outspoken in his stance on vaccines since the pandemic began and is against being ‘forced to take a vaccine in order to travel.’ His exemption was approved by two blind panels, who checked applications rigorously, according to tournament organisers.
Set this against the backdrop of Melbourne, whose citizens have had to manage strict restrictions, and the longest lockdown enforced in the world, over 200 days in length, and you can understand why there’s been such a big backlash.
The problem for Novak when he landed in Melbourne yesterday, was in fact that the visa his team applied for did not allow entry to the country under a medical exemption. After several hours waiting, it was cancelled, and he was denied entry.
Naturally, not wanting to be sent packing, Djokovic has mounted a legal challenge to try and overturn the visa decision. But, in a further twist the court has been adjourned until Monday, meaning he must wait in a quarantine hotel also used to detain refugees, and those seeking asylum in Australia.
The very latest events have seen supporters of Djokovic gather outside that hotel, demanding Djokovic be freed, while pro refugee protestors are also present, sometimes attracting unwanted attention from the former, for wearing masks.
I’d be interested to know your thoughts:
- Was Djokovic entitled to use a medical exemption to gain entry to Australia as an unvaccinated elite athlete?
- Do you worry about the impact on those with acute medical conditions unable to take the vaccine, who need medical exemptions to bypass Covid restrictions?
- Do you think Djokovic should be allowed to play at the Australian Open this year, after everything that’s happened?
Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
- 50.2K All Categories
- 9.9K Start here and say hello!
- 4.2K Coffee lounge
- 3.9K Disability rights and campaigning
- 1.4K Research and opportunities to get involved in
- 136 Community updates
- 11.6K Talk about your situation
- 1.7K Children, parents, and families
- 679 Work and employment
- 538 Education
- 999 Housing, transport, and independent living
- 945 Aids, adaptations, and equipment
- 255 Dating, sex, and relationships
- 252 Exercise and accessible facilities
- 19.8K Talk about money
- 1.8K Benefits and financial support
- 4.3K Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- 11.6K PIP, DLA, and AA
- 2.1K Universal Credit (UC)
- 3.7K Talk about your impairment
- 1.2K Cerebral palsy
- 611 Chronic pain and pain management
- 665 Rare, invisible, and undiagnosed conditions
- 721 Autism and neurodiversity
- 868 Mental health and wellbeing
- 290 Sensory impairments