Novak Djokovic Denied Entry To Australia reference depicting the tennis player with a no entry symbol overlaid on top of him.

Novak Djokovic Denied Entry To Australia

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Updated Jan 10, 2022 at 04:13PM EST by Zach.

Added Jan 10, 2022 at 12:53PM EST by Brandon.

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Novak Djokovic Denied Entry Into Australia refers to professional tennis player Novak Djokovic, ranked No. 1 in the world at the time, not being allowed to enter the country to defend his title in the Australian Open due to being unvaccinated for COVID-19. The event went viral in early 2022, causing controversy and online debates surrounding Australia's strict COVID policy, Djokovic himself and the role of international competitions, such as the Olympics, with countries having different protocols.


On January 4th, 2022, Novak Djokovic announced that he was given a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine and would be traveling to Australia to compete in the Australian Open, of which he was the most recent winner. His announcement[1] generated over 90,000 likes and 16,000 retweets within six days (shown below), as well as setting off a chain of events with other Australian Open players, support staff and former Australian Medical Association Vice President Stephen Parnis decrying Djokovic's medical exemption.

Novak Djokovic @DjokerNole Happy New Year! Wishing you all health, love & joy in every moment & may you feel love & respect towards all beings on this wonderful planet. I've spent fantastic quality time with loved ones over break & today I'm heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let's go 2022! Sk PEE

Djokovic arrived in Melbourne on January 5th, 2022, where he was detained as the Australian Government reversed the medical exemption and declared him unable to enter the country. On January 6th, he was promptly moved into an immigration detention center, turning this into an international affair as Serbian President Aleksander Vucic made a post on Instagram[2] where he detailed a phone call he had with Djokovic, saying that the entire nation of Serbia is with him and they would not stop in their legal pursuit of freeing him, receiving 17,000 likes and 890 comments in four days (shown below).

) 4G וו, 7:51 BUDUCNOSTSRBIJEAV Follow Posts buducnostsrbijeav KG COSTE 4,884 likes buducnostsrbijeav Just got off the phone with Novak Djokovic I told our Novak that the whole Serbia is with him, and that our authorities are taking all measures to stop the harassment of the best tennis player in the world in the shortest possible period. In accordance with all the norms of international public law, Serbia will fight for Novak Đoković, for justice and truth. Otherwise, Novak is strong, as we all know him. View all 273 comments 41 minutes ago · See Original buducnostsrbijeav Belgrade, Serbia

Later that day, an official appeal was put in by Djokovic's lawyers, with the appeal hearing itself set for January 10th, 2022, giving a date and location for supporters of his to know where to show up in support of the star.

Online Reaction

Online reactions were mixed between support for Djokovic, condemnation for Australia and others taking shots at Djokovic for not getting vaccinated in an attempt to stop the spread. When Djokovic was first given his medical exemption, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison was asked by a news reporter about the status of Djokovic's vaccination passport, to which he responded that the state of Victoria granted him the exemption and it wouldn't be up to the Australian Government to change the arrangement. This question was reposted to Twitter[3] by the account @itisimrankhan on January 8th, 2022, earning 200,000 views in two days (shown below).

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz tweeted[4] on January 6th, 2022, that vaccine passports, which were discussed in America and are widely used in international travel abroad, are wrong and no one should be forced to share their vaccination status, while sharing a news report from Fox News about his detention, earning 4,000 likes in four days (shown below).

Ted Cruz O @tedcruz · Jan 6 This is absurd. Vaccine passports are wrong and no one should be forced to disclose their vaccination status. PEUGE Novak Djokovic ordeal in Australia part of 'political witch hunt,' Serbia. Novak Djokovic, who had not disclosed whether he's vaccinated against coronavirus, is the subject of a "political witch hunt," Serbian preside. t7 642 3.9K 1.7K

Djokovic's rival and fellow tennis player Rafael Nadal was asked about the Djokovic situation on January 6th, where he stated that while he doesn't like the current situation, it is ultimately Djokovic's actions that led to it and it is his fault, making him the most prominent supporter of the Australian government's actions in reversing the medical exemption. Nadal's words were tweeted[5] by the official Bloomberg account, where they received 2,500 likes and 162,000 views in four days (shown below).


Djokovic Wins Appeal

On January 10th, 2022, Novak Djokovic won his appeal and was promptly released from detainment. Over the past few days, a crowd had begun to form outside the center, and when he was released, they welcomed him warmly, as shown in the video tweeted[6] by @PolcaDorka (shown below).

The victory in court only reinstated his medical exemption and allowed him to enter the country. Reports indicate there are still ways for him to either be denied the chance to play or deported and possibly banned from the country due to the power held by various officials within the Australian government.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Twitter – Djokovic Comments

[2] Instagram – Serbia PM Comments

[3] Twitter – Aussie PM Words

[4] Twitter – Ted Cruz Comments

[5] Twitter – Rafael Nadal Comments

[6] Twitter – PolcaDorka

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