Novak Djokovic: Australian government ‘make no apologies’ despite Serb’s border chaos

Novak Djokovic's vaccine status bashed by Aussie TV presenter

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An Australian government minister claims to make ‘no apologies’ for the saga involving Novak Djokovic, after the Serb was stopped at the border ahead of this month’s Australian Open. The 34-year-old was seemingly under the impression that he had been granted an exemption to allow him access into the country. 

The fight to compete continues for Djokovic after the Australian government revoked his visa for failing to meet vaccine entry requirements. 

Border officials cited a failure on the Serb’s part to provide appropriate evidence regarding his exemption, or indeed his vaccination status. 

Djokovic has expressed opposition to being jabbed in the past, and has so far refused to reveal whether he has been vaccinated. 

The 20-time Grand Slam winner is currently being held in an immigration detention facility in Melbourne according to France24, staring deportation in the face. 

Djokovic is hoping to defend his Australian Open title in the first Grand Slam of the year, as well as fighting to pull away from Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer who join him on 20 titles apiece. 

But when the star’s apparent exemption was broadly met with public outcry, Prime Minister Scott Morrison bit back. 

“Rules are rules and there are no special cases,” he insisted. 

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews was also on-board, claiming that the Australian government would “make no apologies” for protecting the border. 

Australian Open chief Craig Tiley claimed that 26 of the 3,000 players and staff travelling to the tournament had applied for a vaccine exemption. 

However, only a handful were approved. 

Exemptions are granted by two separate panels of independent experts, with having Covid in the last six months believed to be a worthy argument, although it is not clear whether this is the case with Djokovic. 

At present, the Serb’s lawyers are battling behind the scenes to allow him to compete. 

“The whole of Serbia is with him, and our authorities are undertaking all measures in order that maltreatment of the world’s best tennis player ends as soon as possible,” said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

“In line with all standards of international public law, Serbia will fight for Novak Djokovic, justice and truth.”

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