Tennis

Djokovic has almost a week left to make a record

12 Jan 2022 | 15:18

Novak Djokovic’s 21st Grand Slam title awaits, but he needs permission from Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.

On the afternoon of January 11, Novak Djokovic walked to the center court of Rod Laver Arena to have a private practice session with coach Goran Ivanisevic. He breathes in the atmosphere on the training ground in Melbourne, but is still not completely free of his visa troubles.

Djokovic was happy during practice on January 11. Photo: Reuters.

Djokovic was happy during practice on January 11. Photo: Reuters.

Djokovic hopes everything goes well

Witnessing that the world number one tennis player was allowed to leave the hotel for refugees and return to the training ground with the highest spirit of determination, fans can imagine he will participate in the Australian Open final on 30/30/ first.

Victory that night would give Djokovic his 10th title at Melbourne Park and his 21st Grand Slam, taking him to new heights ahead of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who own 20 titles. He will be the only male player to do this and make him the greatest player in men’s tennis.

 

It is an achievement that revolves around the Australian government not expelling Djokovic from the country.

Amid domestic and international pressure, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke must weigh whether he should decide to cancel Djokovic’s visa. If his visa is cancelled, he could be barred from entering Australia for three years.

All attention is now on Hawke. He was faced with one of the most important decisions of his 14 months on the job. There is no deadline for Secretary Hawke to make a decision on Djokovic’s visa. And according to a spokesman for the Immigration Department, Hawke is in no hurry.

“Secretary Hawke is considering whether to cancel Djokovic’s visa. In accordance with due process, Secretary Hawke will look into the matter thoroughly. As the matter is ongoing, for legal reasons, dislike appropriate for further comment,” the spokesperson said on Jan.

However, with the Australian Open less than a week away, pressure on Mr Hawke to make an early decision is mounting.

Djokovic's controversial PCR test results when scanning QR codes. Photo: Rothenberg.

Djokovic’s controversial PCR test results when scanning QR codes. Photo: Rothenberg.

Mr Hawke’s deliberations could be complicated by new information released on January 11 about Djokovic’s travel declaration.

Documents released by the council show the tennis star filled out an Australian travel declaration that he had not traveled in the 14 days before his flight to Melbourne. However, social media posts show Djokovic in Belgrade, Serbia on December 25, 2021 and then in Spain on December 31, 2021, before arriving in Australia on January 5.

Besides, his PCR test results were also doubtful. New York Times journalist Ben Rothenberg published an image when a QR code on Djokovic’s PCR test paper was negative for Covid-19. This result is widely shared on social networks. A few hours later, Djokovic’s test result was revised to positive.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, penalties apply for giving false and misleading information, including the possibility of criminal prosecution. If Djokovic is deported, he could face a three-year ban from entering Australia.

Contradictory views

ABC News reports that Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison have had phone calls around Djokovic’s issue. Australian politicians also have their own views.

Liberal MP and former professional tennis player John Alexander urged his colleagues to allow Djokovic to stay for the Australian Open. Senator Alex Antic wrote to Secretary Hawke, asking him not to use his personal power to cancel Djokovic’s visa.

Meanwhile, Liberal MP Julian Simmonds said the Serbian tennis player’s visa should be canceled again because he has not been vaccinated.

“I would certainly support the visa cancellation. It would show Australians that everyone has the same rules and there is no room for hypocrisy whether you are a celebrity or a sportsperson.” , Mr. Simmonds said.

Djokovic will receive great pressure if he attends the Australian Open. Photo: Reuters.

Djokovic will receive great pressure if he attends the Australian Open. Photo: Reuters.

While Djokovic was still in a good mood to practice at Rod Laver Arena, outside, fans began to widely boycott him. The audience interviewed mostly expressed negativity when asked about the number one tennis player in the world.

“I just think Novak is quite selfish. I’m not his fan. Novak is a great tennis player, but a pretty normal person. I’ll turn off the TV when he plays at the Australian Open,” Dimita said.

Tennis players Carol and Julie say unvaccinated people are not allowed into Australia, no matter how famous they are.

Meanwhile, Farid and Saif said it would be fun to watch Djokovic compete, but better without the controversy.

“Whatever happens, it’s not good for Australia. If the whole world is getting a vaccine, why should there be an exception. It’s just abuse of the system and the way you say you have Covid-19 to get out of the way. vaccination,” Farid said.

Whether the audience watched or not, Djokovic remained steadfast in his goal of competing in the Australian Open, winning to claim his legendary 21st Grand Slam title.

Whether he can compete or not is still being considered, while the Australian Open 2022 is 5 days away from kicking off.