Novak Djokovic news: Serb reaches self-imposed deadline for Australian Open revelation

Australian Open
Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action

Novak Djokovic has reached the deadline he imposed on himself to open up on his experiences in Australia.

On 3 February 2022, Djokovic told a press conference that he would speak on the vaccine and visa saga within 7-10 days.

Djokovic had run afoul of the Australian government, who took to scrutinising the visa of the 20-time Grand Slam winner, despite him being granted a medical exemption by Aussie Open organisers.

Djokovic was first detained by Australia Border Force for around 10 hours at Tullamarine Airport. He opted not to immediately leave Australia and was therefore detained until a court hearing could be held.

An extraordinary legal back and forth ensued with supporters of Djokovic taking to the streets of Melbourne to protest the tennis star’s treatment.

Earlier this month, Djokovic held a press conference back in Serbia, alongside his nation’s president Aleksandar Vucic.

“Those circumstances that happened to me in Australia taught me and that bond will last forever,” Djokovic said.

“Since I did not speak before, please be patient, in the next seven to ten days I will address in more detail everything that happened in Australia.”

Djokovic is set to play his first tournament of 2022 in Dubai, having received assurances from organisers and government authorities that he would be allowed to enter the country and play in the DDF Tennis Championships.

The Serb has remained firm on his stance of remaining unvaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, drawing both staunch support and fierce criticism.

Djokovic has also added his name to the entry list for the Indian Wells ATP Tour event in early March, setting up another potential clash with border control.

Dubai to roll out the red carpet for Novak Djokovic

Indian Wells has been described as a vaccine-only tournament, but organisers have clarified that this is only in reference to fans and media entering the venue for the event.

The Indian Wells tournament authorities have deferred to the ATP regarding player protocols for the event, leaving the door open for Djokovic.

Djokovic will, however, first need to gain entry to the United States.

According to the current CDC guidelines, travellers must be fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to travel to the United States by plane if they are a non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or travelling to the United States on an immigrant visa). Only limited exceptions apply.

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