Martina Navratilova tells Djokovic to ‘suck it up’ and ‘go home’
Novak Djokovic now has an opponent to prepare for in the first round of the Australian Open, that’s despite a decision over his visa still up in the air just days before the tournament starts. But the Serbian can now be reasonably expected to take on compatriot next week despite a delay to the draw suggesting that a decision over his visa from minister for immigration Alex Hawke was imminent.
Hawke is still considering the possibility of “a personal power of cancellation”, a move which could yet drag on for several days. The men’s world number one broke his silence over a number of accusations of breaking Covid protocol on Wednesday, and he conceded that he broke isolation and conducted an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe despite knowing that he was positive for the virus, such a transgression could result in up to five years in prison if proven that he lied about his positive test.
Djokovic’s problems rumble on further, too, with yet further questions, possibly from the Australian Border Force, over claims he misconstrued information on his travel declaration form, saying he had not travelled elsewhere before heading Down Under – despite photos emerging of him training in Spain just before the new year. Andy Murray has acknowledged Djokovic is likely to have to answer questions in public, too, after the isolation controversy.
Follow all the latest news and updates as Djokovic prepares for the Australian Open below.
Roger Federer’s advice to Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open first round opponent
Novak Djokovic’s first-round Australian Open opponent Miomir Kecmanovic picked up some valuable advice from Roger Federer on his way to making it as a pro.
The 22-year-old Serbian was a ‘Next Gen reporter’ for the ATP Tour at the 2019 Miami Open and spoke with the former world No 1 about the key to making it on Tour.
“You’ve been on the tour longer than I’ve been alive almost, so do you have any tips that I could use out here?” Kecmanovic asked.
“Enjoy yourself, and you have enough time,” the current world No 16 told him. I think when you’re young you always think like ‘it has to happen tomorrow’.
“Just have a blast out there because I wish I was still your age and could do it all over again, so I’m a little bit sad I’m at the back end of my career. But I’m sure you’ll have a great career.”
Jack Rathborn13 January 2022 18:40
Novak Djokovic ‘playing by his own rules’ in Australian visa saga, Stefanos Tsitsipas claims
The No 4 seed for the Australian Open 2022 insists Djokovic put the Grand Slam at risk with his actions to enter the country with an exemption for the Covid-19 vaccination, despite clearly-outlined rules and regulations given to the players from the ATP.
Djokovic is still waiting to hear if the Australian government will push to revoke his visa once more after admitting to providing misleading information over his whereabouts following a positive Covid test last month.
Jack Rathborn13 January 2022 18:20
When will Australian immigration minister decide Novak Djokovic’s fate?
The Serbian awaits the decision of Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke, who must weigh whether to revoke the 20-time Grand Slam winner’s visa.
Pictures on social media showed the Serbian in Belgrade over Christmas and training in Spain at New Year.
Jack Rathborn13 January 2022 18:00
Novak Djokovic: The tennis star always seeking to walk his own path
“The one hero in this whole Novak Djokovic saga is Rafael Nadal – and I think [we] should listen to him,” former vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said on the radio on Sunday. “I encourage everyone to get their jab.”
He was being asked about the case of the men’s tennis No 1’s possible deportation from Australia, where the Serbian was denied entry after landing in Melbourne last week to defend his Australian Open title. An earlier decision to grant a medical exemption to play had infuriated many living in a country that has some of the world’s strictest Covid rules. The appeal hearing against deportation will be heard on Monday at 10am local time (11pm Sunday GMT).
Djokovic has not disclosed his vaccine status, but in April 2020, before vaccines for Covid-19 were available, said that he was opposed to vaccination before later clarifying his position by adding that he was “no expert” and would keep an “open mind” – but wanted to have “an option to choose what’s best for my body” and “wouldn’t want to be forced” to have one to travel. His lawyers have said a vaccine exemption was granted to enter Australia after a Covid infection on 16 December (although Djokovic tweeted pictures on 17 December of him maskless appearance at a ceremony in Belgrade – it is unclear whether he knew he had Covid when the photos were taken).
Djokovic news LIVE: World No 1 awaits fresh decision over visa as he learns