Novak Djokovic facing anxious wait over Australia visa appeal
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Daniil Medvedev has given his verdict on the possible deportation of friend and rival Novak Djokovic from Australia. The Serb flew to Melbourne for the upcoming Australian Open after receiving a medical exemption but had his visa cancelled when arriving at the border. After appealing, he will stay in a quarantine hotel until Monday when the hearing resumes.
Djokovic had his visa cancelled after landing in Melbourne for the Australian Open, which begins on January 17.
The world No 1 had been in doubt for the season-opening Major after it was confirmed that all players needed to be fully vaccinated, but announced on Tuesday that he was flying Down Under after receiving “an exemption permission”.
Tennis Australia confirmed that they had granted the nine-time Aussie Open champion a medical exemption “following a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts,” including a panel appointed by the Victorian Department of Health.
But while Djokovic was mid-air, en route to Australia, the country’s Border Force discovered an issue with his visa as it was reported that a member of his team had applied for the “wrong type” which did not cover medical exemptions and required full vaccination to enter.
JUST IN: Rafael Nadal gives damning assessment on Novak Djokovic fiasco
The 20-time Grand Slam champion spent hours with Border Force after landing in Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport late on Wednesday, and after overnight questioning had his visa cancelled on Thursday morning local time.
Australian Border Force then confirmed the news on Thursday, saying: “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.”
Djokovic’s lawyers have since appealed his deportation, and he is now being held in the Park Hotel – a quarantine hotel in the city which also occupies asylum seekers in immigration detention – until Monday, when the appeal hearing resumes at 10am local time.
Djokovic defended in Aus Open row – ‘Treated like a drug smuggler’
Piers Morgan praises Australia’s decision to deport Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic: Australian govt ‘make no apologies’ for border chaos
Now, world No 2 and one of Djokovic’s friends on the tour, Daniil Medvedev, has had his say on the situation and admitted he has been in similar situations with visa mix-ups in the past.
“Yeah, look, my view on this situation is quite straightforward, I think,” the US Open champion said, speaking after leading Team Russia to victory over Italy at the ATP Cup.
“You know, thereare rules. There are exemptions from rules. I cannot know exactly what happened in the papers, because what we know, I know the same as everybody. Two days ago, he posted a tweet and an Insta story, an Insta post, where he has an exemption.”
Medvedev, who would be the favourite to win the Aussie Open in Djokovic’s absence, also had a simple verdict on the medical exemption issue, stating: “So for me it’s tough to say. If he had a fair exemption from the rule, well, he should be here; if he didn’t, he shouldn’t be here.”
The 25-year-old admitted he didn’t know the ins and outs of the story to comment too much, but shared his sympathy for his rival and friend after being left out of tournaments over his visas in the past.
“That’s why I’m saying it’s really tough for me to comment on it. Again, for me, it’s easy. If he has an exemption, well, should be here,” he reiterated.
“If something was wrong with the papers and they didn’t let him in, well, that’s what happens sometimes.
“I have a lot of problems with visas in my career. One time I couldn’t play challenger in Great Britain.”
Medvedev won the first Major title of his career by beating Djokovic in the US Open final back in September, and also revealed that he almost didn’t make it to America after visa issues.
He added: “Actually this year, US Open — U.S. swing was a big question mark because I didn’t have my visa for long time and all the embassies were closed because of COVID.
“We all have different situations and problems with different countries. That’s his one.”
Source: Read Full Article