Djokovic ‘free to leave’ Australia at any point and is ‘not being held captive’

Novak Djokovic has been told he is 'free to leave' Australia at any point by the country's Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews.

Djokovic's Australian Open plans have been thrown into chaos after the defending champion had his visa rejected by border control upon arrival in Melbourne.

Since then the world No 1 tennis player has had his visa revoked in Australia, and has been moved to a quarantine hotel in Victoria whilst he waits for a decision on his playing status, which is set to come on Monday.

After being moved to the Park Hotel in Carlton, a number of Djokovic’s supporters have taken to the streets outside the accommodation to protest for the world No 1's freedom.

However Home Affairs Minister Andrews has revealed the Serbian is free to leave and is 'not being held captive'.

She said: "Mr. Djokovic is not being held captive in Australia, he is free to leave at any time that he chooses to do so and Border Force will actually facilitate that."

This comes after the Serbian's mum claimed that the world No 1 was being held 'prisoner' in the Melbourne hotel following a press conference from his family in Belgrade.

She commented: "I spoke with him a couple of hours ago, he was good, we didn't speak a lot but we spoke for a few minutes.

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"He was trying to sleep, but he couldn't. As a mother, what can I say, you can just imagine how I feel, I feel terrible since yesterday, the last 24 hours.

"They are keeping him like a prisoner, it's just not fair, it's not human.”

The world No 1's participation in the event had been up in the air for some time in the months building up to the event after he refused to reveal his Covid vaccinations status – which was needed to enter Australia and compete in the Grand Slam.

The Serbian then revealed that he had received a 'medical exemption' from tournament officials in order to compete, which was met with huge backlash.

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However, this was rejected on arrival in Australia by border control officials.

Djokovic's long-time rival Rafael Nadal gave his view on the drama on Thursday, offering only little sympathy to the tennis great.

Nadal said: "He has taken his own position and everybody is free to take their position. But there are consequences.

"I don't like the situation. In some ways, I feel sorry for him. But he knew the conditions months ago. He made his own decision."

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