Djokovic locked down in hotel awaiting visa appeal result
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Following the recent chaos surrounding his arrival in Australia for the opening Grand Slam of the year, Novak Djokovic appears to have received some good news elsewhere. And it comes in terms of the French Open in May.
After arriving in Melbourne this week for the Australian Open, Djokovic was held by border control officials for hours before being moved to a quarantine hotel after his visa was rejected.
The world No 1’s chances of competing in the Grand Slam had been up in the air for months, after he repeatedly refused to reveal his Covid vaccination status – hinting that he had not yet been jabbed against the virus, which was a must for the Melbourne showpiece.
However this week Djokovic revealed he had been given a medical exemption from event officials in order to compete. But upon arrival, there was another twist, as he had his visa revoked.
The Serbian will now remain in a quarantine hotel in Melbourne, and will have to wait until Monday to hear if he will be able to remain down under and compete in the event.
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In all the chaos though there has been some good news for the 20-time Grand Slam winner, after he was told by France’s Sports Minister, Roxana Maracineanu, that he would be able to compete at Roland Garros this year without having the vaccine.
Maracineanu revealed that if Djokovic follows the protocols currently in place, he will be allowed to compete in Paris come May.
She said: “He would not follow the same organisational arrangements as those who are vaccinated.
“But he will nonetheless be able to compete because the protocols, the health bubble allows it.”
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The Serbian’s arrival in Melbourne this week has no doubt been a controversial one, with many of his supporters in Australia taking to the streets outside of his hotel to protest for his freedom.
Back home in Serbia his parents have held a press conference in support of their son, demanding for his immediate release from the Park Hotel in Carlton.
During their address to the media his mother Dijana claimed her son was being held ‘prisoner’.
She said: “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.
“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.
“I hope he will stay strong as we are also trying, to give him some energy to keep going. I hope he will win.”
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