Djokovic back in Serbia after deportation from Australia

January 17, 2022

Novak Djokovic has arrived home after an Australian court upheld a visa cancellation. Authorities said that his decision not to be vaccinated against coronavirus posed a risk to the Australian public.
The top men’s tennis player was deported after losing a visa battle that centred on the fact he is unvaccinated.
Hundred of supporters gathered at the Nicola Tesla airport in Belgrade on Monday as Novak Djokovic landed in Serbia following his deportation from Australia.
Djokovic left Australia late on Sunday and boarded an Emirates flight to Dubai after the Federal Court upheld a government decision to cancel his visa, ending days of drama over the country’s Covid-19 entry rules and his unvaccinated status.
The Serbian star was first detained by immigration authorities on January 6, ordered released by a court on January 10 and then detained again on Saturday pending Sunday’s court hearing.
By the end, Djokovic said he was extremely disappointed by the ruling but respected the court’s decision.
“I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and the tournament I love,” Djokovic said in a statement before flying out of Melbourne. He landed in Belgrade after a brief stopover in Dubai.
The 34-year-old received widespread support in his home country, with the Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic calling the treatment of a national hero “scandalous”.
As he landed in Serbia, supporters – some waving national flags – outside Belgrade airport chanted “You are our champion, Novak!”
However, the tennis star’s exit from Australia might not be the end of the drama as questions arose over whether he would be barred from the next Grand Slam tournament, the French Open.

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