Novak Djokovic is not a ‘political prisoner,’ but he did get screwed over by authorities

Novak Djokovic wins the Australian Open 2020 in Melbourne

The Novak Djokovic saga has been one of the biggest stories of the week. It has everything: anti-vaxxers, border security, a stubborn athlete, an international tennis tour, angry parents, national politics, visa drama, memes and music. Novak Djokovic is currently sitting in a “quarantine hotel” in Australia, without access to any tennis courts or outdoor spaces or his team. His family is back in Serbia, fighting for his “release.” The Aussie authorities say that Novak is actually free to leave at any time, that they will arrange for him to be put on a flight out of Australia whenever he wants. It seems that he’s going to stay there until his Monday hearing, which is where he’ll likely be formally deported. Unless something is being worked out as we speak, and I kind of think that’s what’s happening behind-the-scenes.

To be 100% clear: Novak Djokovic should have gotten vaccinated. He should have been vaccinated months ago, and it’s completely asinine that he continues to refuse the Covid vaccine. His anti-vaccine stance will be seen as one of the biggest blemishes of his career and his life. He brought so much of this on himself. Now, all that being said: there are legitimately parts of this story which are bigger than Novak. He finds himself in a huge political and bureacratic sh-tstorm partially because Australian authorities (both the government and the tennis authorities) f–ked up.

This is the smoking gun that proves Tennis Australia wrongly — and knowingly — told the world’s best tennis players, including Novak Djokovic, how they could play in the first grand slam of the year even though they knew the proper rules for players who were unvaccinated against Covid was not as clear cut.

An information sheet, obtained by News Corp, was emailed by Tennis Australia to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) early last month, then passed on to the world’s top players. The document shows that Tennis Australia informed players there was a two-step process to follow so they could play in the Australian Open without being vaccinated.

The advice included a clause where players needed to prove they had contracted the virus in the last six months — which is presumed to be the basis for Djokovic’s exemption, which was withdrawn when he arrived in Australia. But the problem is that the information forwarded to the ATP and players was incorrect, and Tennis Australia had already been told that.

Dated 7 December 2021, the email was sent after the federal government had already notified Tennis Australia in writing in November that a prior infection did not meet the requirements for quarantine-free travel. The timing is critical because it points the blame for the whole fiasco at Tennis Australia, and backs up claims by acting Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan that the state government was also not told by Tennis Australia that the Commonwealth had warned them prior Covid infection was not a genuine medical exemption.

[From Courtier Mail]

Throughout the week, we’ve heard variations on this story, and I’m glad there’s finally firm reporting on it. Basically, Tennis Australia (the tennis federation) made up their own rules about which unvaccinated players would be allowed into the country and what kind of criteria they needed to meet to get a medical exemption. Tennis Australia’s made-up criteria was what Novak adhered to, and then the political sh-tstorm happened as soon as Novak announced his medical exemption and was already en route to Australia.

Now, again, this would have been solved so easily if Novak would just get the g–damn vaccine. But he’s now part of a sensitive political situation, battling contradictory Australian authorities. I do think that the longer he stays in Australia, the more likely it is that a deal gets worked out.

Also: Djoker’s stans call themselves “crocs” (for the Lacoste alligator) and the Crocs are losing their damn minds. I’ve seen Djokovic referred to as a “political prisoner” being punished by a “medical apartheid” system and guess what? That kind of rhetoric is BONKERS and offensive. Now there’s some kind of #IStandWithNovak movement and some of the biggest bros of tennis are taking sides.

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101 Responses to “Novak Djokovic is not a ‘political prisoner,’ but he did get screwed over by authorities”

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  1. Kate says:

    If he thought a private organization’s rules to play were the only rules he had to follow then that is his fault. Obviously Aus tennis shouldn’t be promising things they can’t promise, but at the end of the day it’s on him to know the rules for entering the country. If he doesn’t want to get vaccinated, then that’s his decision, but he has to deal with the consequences of that.

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      Ditto. We travel internationally pretty extensively (obviously not in the last two years), and before any travel I scour every country’s official state department equivalent sites to make sure we have all our stuff in order. That burden is on the person doing the traveling. And right now, I’d be even more obsessive about it. A 30 second google search tells you exactly what steps you need to take to enter Australia. I am not willing to accept a “so and so told me it would be okay” excuse.

      • Still_Sarah says:

        Exactly. I traveled to Saudi Arabia in August 2021 for work. I was told by my employer to make sure on my own that I had met the requirements for traveling during covid. He has people who work for him and make his travel arrangements, etc.. Their job is to check and double-check everything. That being said, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy 🙂

    • LadyMTL says:

      This, exactly. I don’t see how the actual Aussie government did anything wrong. The tennis authorities set up their own rules (I’m assuming they didn’t get gov’t input), Djokovic decided to follow those rules (again assuming without confirming anything with the actual gov’t) and now it’s all a mess. If either one had done some due diligence then it’s very likely none of this would be happening.

      • Still_Sarah says:

        @ LadyMTL : Yes, someone didn’t do their due diligence for this trip. I traveled overseas during covid last summer and the conditions are complex and bothersome. But I wanted to get on that plane, so I make sure I had done what I was supposed to do. And the Australian government is the final decision maker, not the tennis association.

      • Mariposa says:

        I’m Australian and haven’t been following the international border rules that closely – but even I know that having covid in the last 6 months isn’t accepted as a reason for being allowed in unvaccinated. The exception is if you have medical grounds or if you are too young to be vaccinated (under 5). That’s it – and it is
        information that is readily available.

        Because – how does someone prove that they’ve had covid in the last 6 months? Border force can’t just accept someone telling them, they have to have a way of getting proof and that would just be incredibly complex.

      • Ashley says:

        Mariposa – to travel to France you’re considered fully vaccinated if you’ve gotten one shot and had Covid. Your positive Covid test result proves this. You have to scan it into the app because you also use this to bypass the mandatory vaccination requirements to eat in restaurants and be out in public. To Americans this does not mean fully vaccinated and as an American living in Paris who goes back and forth I see this question come up ALL THE TIME. People will be like “they won’t let me fly to America even though I got one shot? But I’m fully vaccinated”. To me that’s mental. That’s not “fully” vaccinated. But French people will argue it is because it is in France.

        That said I have no plans to go to Australia but even I know that Australia has one of the strictest regulations since Covid began. He’s an idiot for thinking being a tennis player meant he could bend the rules. Who doesn’t look up a countries Covid guidelines these days?!? Who?!? It’s the norm to check before you leave and even worse? The airlines send you NUMEROUS emails to remind you of a country’s rules. Emails and app notifications. There is no way you cannot know this information. They don’t let you not know it.

      • Snappyfish says:

        So either Djokovic has fabricated a positive COVID test in order to obtain a visa. Or. He attended several public events while knowing he had COVID.

        Either way he is a despicable human.

    • Mac says:

      Bragging about his medical exemption as a way to spread his anti-vaxx bullsh*t caught up with him. Sorry, no sympathy here.

      • Brandy Alexander says:

        This is what I think. If he wouldn’t have gone on Twitter to brag to the world about it, they probably would have let him in to play. He brought this on himself, and he’s still digging his heels in trying to get to stay and play. I hope they boot him out on Monday.

      • Still_Sarah says:

        @ Mac : IKR, isn’t karma perfect? 🙂

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “If he doesn’t want to get vaccinated, then that’s his decision, but he has to deal with the consequences of that.”

      and that is the bottom line. all the other stuff is noise. as noted, the onus was on HIM to make sure that his CHOICE to not vaccinate would still be ok based on the rules of the country he was trying to enter. the “well, someone told me…” NO. that is what a child does when they mess up and want to blame someone.

      get the jab or go home, Novax.

      • Anne Call says:

        And won’t he be facing this same issue at the French Open and Wimbledon? He’s an idiot and thinks his number one status gives him the right to do what he wants. Guy has been vaccinated for all kinds of diseases since he was a baby, he needs to get vaccinated and hope that people forget all this if he wants a sustained career.

      • Col says:

        Anne, as of now wimbledon allows unvaxxed players, and the french gov has just mandated that domestic athletes get vaxxed, but haven’t yet decided on internationals iirc. The us open still allows unvaxxed too so it’s surprisingly lax.

    • DIA says:

      This is insane. Its his body, if he doesn’t want to be vaccinated that is fine. He needs to be tested and if negative he is free to go where he wants. People who are vaccinated can pass it so this is nonsense. Pro choice when it comes to abortion but not a vaccine.

      • Col says:

        Dia, unvaxxed are much more likely to spread it, and people are often most contagious before being symptomatic. Also, pcr tests are not as accurate when someone isn’t symptomatic yet. Think about it – if you have a lower chance of getting a disease bc your vaxxed, you are also much less likely to spread it to someone else.

      • Kate says:

        @dia sure he can choose, that’s not what this is about. He’s whining about the consequences of his choice, but he still has the choice. Freedom to choose, with respect to vaccines, abortion, or anything else does not and has never meant an entitlement to freedom from the consequences of your decisions.

      • EBS says:

        Djokovic is free to take or not take the vaccine, but he is absolutely not free to “go where he wants.” Countries have the right to set restrictions on who can enter.

      • lemontwist says:

        “Pro choice when it comes to abortion but not a vaccine.”

        @DIA could you be any more obviously trolling with this comment?

      • Nic919 says:

        This is bs. Countries have a right to determine their own laws and since Novak is not Australian he has to abide by the rules for every foreign national. He chooses to not be vaccinated and as such is not permitted entry just because he plays tennis does not mean he can flout the laws. Australians have had real lockdowns as in not being able to go beyond certain radius from their homes so why should this guy be exempted?

        He chooses to not be vaccinated and therefore faces the consequences of his decisions. You can’t have it both ways.

      • TigerMcQueen says:

        He can choose not to vaxx. Australia can very much kick his non-vaxxed rear end out of their country.

        Troll better next time.

      • Sydneygirl says:

        No @Dia, my country (Australia) has rules -applicable to EVERYONE, and despite getting the “go ahead” from Tennis Australia, Novak and his team have known our border/vaccination rules for SIX MONTHS.

        He’s not the victim, despite how TA messed up.

        Quit the victim rhetoric.

      • A Fan says:

        Countries have required proof of various vaccinations in order to enter WELL BEFORE COVID (ie. Yellow Fever). Having a negative test of said disease (ie. Yellow Fever) is not sufficient and does not mean one ‘can go anywhere’. Good grief.

        [*This is not new.*]

      • SKF says:

        @dia it’s our country and if we say no unvaccinated foreign nationals then that needs to be respected. It’s not insane. It’s smart and aligns with medical advice and one of the lowest death rates from COVID in the world. His body, sure – he can choose whatever he wants. But that choice comes with repercussions and one is that he can’t enter Australia.

  2. hindulovegod says:

    The Isner statement is ridiculous. Djokovic is being detained by his own will not against it. He’s free to leave the hotel if he goes to the airport and departs the country. Literally, his choice. Australia just deported one of the other three involved with the Australian Open who was unvaxxed and got in on an exemption. I suspect they’ll soon deport the other two. It’s such a mess.

  3. JayBlue says:

    No sympathy for this selfish idiot. Send him home in shame. If you refuse to be vaccinated, fair enough, but don’t expect to be allowed to spread your germs in a massively public setting in a country that has taken an incredibly firm stance on this.

    This isn’t about the politics, it’s just common sense.

    • myjobistoprincess says:

      I agree
      They are calling him NoVax DjoCovid now in the news LOL

      • crummycake says:

        I hate to laugh, but that nickname (NoVax DjoCovid) is funny – I have always referred to him as “Jerkovic”. I’ve never liked the way he (and his family) behave and I route for his opponents to scorch him on the court. What a pompous/arrogant ass.

      • Sarah says:

        This is one of my favourite pandemic era nicknames and I share it any time I can.

      • AlpineWitch says:

        Novax Djokovid is simply brilliant 🤣🤣

  4. Louise177 says:

    Although Tennis Australia did him dirty I think Novak was was going to try to break the rules anyway. I would think with so many requirements that are always changing, people would triple check before traveling especially internationally.

  5. Amy Bee says:

    No, sympathy for him. So he should just gotten vaccinated, let the rest of the players. Let’s hope at least when this ordeal is over, he’ll start advocating for better treatment for refugees.

  6. Marcel says:

    Deport Novak. Free the Refugees!
    There were refugee activists protesting outside of his hotel and I 100% agree with their stance. Novak might be caught in the crosshairs of a political mess. But he has access to telecommunications, safe food, running water, a toilet and a shower. Plus he isn’t living under constant threat of harassment from guards. The same can not be said for refugees illegally detained in detention centres by the Australian Government.
    xoxo an Australian who wants to see all refugees freed and given the support & space to heal, thrive & live however they want to. We aren’t free until all human beings are free.

  7. HandforthParish says:

    It sounds like these exemptions are BS. It appears that only Australian citizens are allowed this temporary medical exemption if they had Covid in the prior 6 months (they can’t medically get a vaccine before the 6 months are up).
    It doesn’t apply to any foreign visitors who have to be fully vaccinated. At best it seems that he might be allowed to stay but would have to self-isolate for 14 days, which would mean missing the tournament anyway.
    They are now saying he might be allowed to stay and play after all- I genuinely can’t see it. The Aussie government have now taken a stand and it would look terrible if they gave in (which is how it would be seen).

    I’ve also read from some Aussie social media posters (so not sure the accuracy) that if you are deported you are not allowed to re-enter the country for at least 3 years- that would make it unlikely for Nole to play in Melbourne again.

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person… 🙂

  8. Mina_Esq says:

    Even if it had been the Australian government’s rules that he was initially following, we’ve all learned over the past two years that rules can change literally within a 24 hour period and with as little as 3 days notice. His team should have been on top of this. Now as for the sh*tstorm, the “prisoner” narrative is pissing me off. He can get on the plane back any time he wants. They are just preventing him from spreading his virus around Australia and accessing millions of dollars in prize money. Boo-hoo, poor baby. GTFO dude.

    • schlussel says:

      I know! this is literally his career! in what world do you not double-check, if not triple-check, that you have all your documentation in order and ready for whichever country you’re travelling to? the cheek, the nerve, the gall, the audacity and the GUMPTION

  9. Oh_Hey says:

    I still don’t understand how this the Oz government’s fault. They aren’t part of Tennis Australia any more than the ATP is part of congress.

    Tennis Australia was given written notice by the government, ignored it, and lied to players. Novak is an anti vaxxer with a lying problem.

    How is this Australia’s fault (other than not sending him home on day 1 of this foolery)?

  10. Seaflower says:

    You forgot we also have an idiot for a Prime Minister. “Dickhead” has been trending for days on twitter here and everyone knows it refers to the PM.

    In all seriousness, what is actually a much bigger story that is being totally overlooked is the Australian treatment of asylum seekers. There are men in hat hotel who have been there for 9 years. But they don’t have money so it doesn’t get covered.

  11. Merricat says:

    I have as much compassion for him as he has for the rest of the world.

  12. Noki says:

    I saw some pics on what the qurantine hotels look and serve.Yuck!!! Why doesnt he stay somewhere like where Nicole Kidman,The Clooneys stayed?

    • Michelle Connolly says:

      Because he isn’t isolating like they were, he’s being detained by border control so there is no choice of where you stay or what you do – unless you get back on a plane and leave the country, which you can at any time!

      • Emily says:

        agree! He is not being held against his will – he is free to leave at any time and Border Force will escort him to Melbourne Airport where he can get a flight home!

  13. MsT_Shady says:

    Just go home dude. Sick of his bull-tish. He’s totally free to leave but choosing to stay to spend some of his millions in the Australian court system. What a bogan.

  14. tempest prognosticator says:

    I’ve known a few people like him. Their whole lives have been spent focusing on one thing. In his case, tennis. They never learn how to be decent human beings.

  15. BeanieBean says:


  16. popsicle_vp says:

    I do not feel sorry for Novak. It was clear to me the day before he arrived that this was going to be a political issue when the PM name-checked Novak. That is when he should have started making phone calls. I am sure that he was giving a warning that this was a likely outcome and yet he persists. The French are not going to let Novak in either. He wants this fight or he can kiss this career goodbye.

  17. Léna says:

    He’s making himself a martyr. That’s not it. He’s refusing to leave the country and to stay his the detention center, because he’s certain he should enter Australia. Fuck this guy

  18. BUBS says:

    His father referred to the situation as “medical apartheid” and compared him to Jesus! Imagine equating a rich white man who is facing the consequences of his own actions -whatever is happening with the Australian government is another thing – to black South Africans who were treated as less than animals in their own country! I just can’t!
    Well, I hear he’s being held in the same hotel as asylum seekers, one of whom has been held for 9 whole years! Hopefully, this would give him perspective. Maybe he’ll bring light to the situation those people are facing. Fingers crossed, he’ll use his stardom better when he gets out. Something good may yet come out of this, who knows?

    • libellule says:

      His father is bonkers. He also compared ND to Spartakus.

      I don’t think this experience would make him think of others. It would only fuel his “me against the world” attitude.

      • crummycake says:

        Yes, I read that article where his father was making those crazy comparisons. That entire family (including Novak) needs to get a grip on flipping reality and STFU. Disgusting entitled arrogance.

  19. ML says:

    I don’t believe Djokovic should be in Australia unless he’s vaxxed. Period.
    However, I think that it’s not necessarily just the TA that messed up. The Victorian government supposedly does not know what the entrance rules are to come to Australia?? No one in that government knew that getting Covid in the last 6 months wasn’t enough for a medical exemption?? I’m sorry, but I cannot believe that. And Scomo, who has a depressing amount in common with Trump and Bojo, and who is running for reelection, has the perfect, “Look at how tough we are” platform here. No alarm bells went off before Djokovic got on his flight?? Some people flying to Australia have been stopped at Schiphol (Amsterdam airport) because their paperwork wasn’t in order… Djokovic has not exactly hid his potential antivax stance, and they trusted THIS guy to get on a plane?? ABF had to have known–someone okayed Djokovic to come in from the federal level. When a brouhaha broke out, then they went into damage mode, but Australia wanted him there initially.
    Also, supposedly the 3 people who arrived on the same visa as Djokovic WERE allowed in. Initially that was all good as well. Now a Czech player has left after an investigation showed she had no business entering.
    I think Djokovic is an arrogant schmuck, but I also believe he wouldn’t be able to have actually flown into Oz if he hadn’t been helped at all levels: Tennis Australia, Victoria and the federal government. He was done dirty and due to the backlash, this mess got exposed.

  20. rawiya says:

    Can I just roll my eyes over the supposed “treatment” this poor entitled rich white man is receiving. Believe me, brown people who try to enter Australia for safety are treated much MUCH worst. Oooh, he’s not allowed to have his phone. Boohoo. Neither is anyone else held in immigration custody. He’s been treated way better than you and I would be if we’d entered on an expired passport. Save the tears and concerns for people who really need it. Not this self-centred, egotistical jack@ss.

    • ML says:

      Trust me, I’m not crying for him. I think the fact he’s a jerk is taking the spotlight away from corruption, and in terms of international relations it was stupid to let him fly at all. No one looks good in this and it could all have been avoided if the people in charge had done their job and said, “No.”
      11,000 people in Holland had a really nasty allergic reaction to their first shots in the spring and summer of 2021. The Dutch government called these people back to get vaxxed by an Allergist in a hospital. Nearly all 11,000 were able to get a 2nd shot. Medically, Djokovic is spouting bull: he could just go to an allergist and get his shot.

  21. ML says:

    Just to be clear, I don’t think Djokovic has any business being in Australia unvaxxed. There are certain rules you need to accept for your job. When you’re in a foreign country, you don’t get to break the law because you were born somewhere else.

  22. Concern Fae says:

    This is all on Tennis Australia. Did someone there assume that once the players got there the government would just cave and let the unvaccinated players into the country? We have been seeing repeatedly that sports federations are garbage. Look at the NFL, with rampant racism and ignoring concussions. US Gymnastics. Figure skating is holding the US Nationals without a bubble for the athletes. They aren’t even requiring masks in the official hotel. Nationals are in Nashville, instead of Las Vegas, where every Covid event has been held. There is a hotel with a skating arena attached, so the whole event can be held safely, without spectators (like Canada is doing right now). But they are opening a new national training center in Nashville, run by Scott Hamilton. Apparently plugging that is more important than actually having any athletes eligible to skate in Beijing. You have to have a negative Covid test a certain number of days before your flight to Beijing. Anybody catching Covid now is basically screwed. Already an athlete has tested positive who tested negative when they left home. Fvck Scott Hamilton and USFS.

    Sorry for the OT rant, but Covid entitlement assholery isn’t just a tennis problem.

  23. Hyrule Castle says:

    If only there was this much swift, international attention given to Peng Shuai.
    Headlines about her credible accusations & international concern about her disappearance.
    Immediate action about her sudden silence.

    But no, let’s again talk about how the privileged white man who is facing consequences of his own (in)action is somehow a victim.

    • Fernanda says:

      There won’t be no action because it is China we are talking about. Unfortunately. I hope she is well.

  24. Courtney says:

    “Do better.” All these white men sure have some kind of axe to grind and support to throw around when it comes to what amounts to an inconvenience (yes, a major one, but really not that deep) for another white man. “Do better” was a phrase people started using to make sure sexual predators and harassers in the workplace are held accountable. So that police would exercise restraint and rational behavior and respect with black people. “Do better” in believing women when they say a man raped them, don’t let them keep their scholarships and get to attend classes sitting next to their victim. That’s what “Do better” meant/means. The audacity to equate a rich tennis player who is totally fine and safe to the societal and human injustices and VIOLENCE that “Do better” is meant to address just because he’s in a mediocre hotel room tells me just how mediocre these men are. UGH x 1,000. Tell me you’ve never faced adversity without telling me you’ve never faced adversity. (I hate that I just used that damn TikTok phrase).

  25. Fernanda says:

    But, what if his exemption is valid? Meaning, if he really did have COVID at some point in the last 6 months. In my country, this exempts you from vaccine because the count of antibodies that healed persons have is much higher than of those vaccinated. So, does Australia force people to vaccinate even when they already have immunity due to the pervious infection? It seems ridiculous.

    • MsT_Shady says:


      The antibodies do not provide significant protection compared to two doses of the major vaccinations, and they disappear significantly after only 90 days. It’s not true that those who have had C19 have long-lasting antibody protection compared to a fully vaccinated person. Plenty of people have caught C19 more than once.

      His exemption was not valid in that it appears to have been signed off by only one doctor, not the required two.

      Whether one thinks that the C19 rules/regulations a country has enacted are ridiculous or not it irrelevant; if you want to enter that country, you must abide to those rules.

      Again, this entitled man is choosing to stay in the detention centre and is free to leave Australia at any point he chooses. Unlike the refugees, I might add.

    • lemontwist says:

      “So, does Australia force people to vaccinate even when they already have immunity due to the pervious infection? It seems ridiculous.”

      Describing vaccination efforts as ‘force’ seems purposefully incendiary. You also referred to ND as being ‘imprisoned’ in the previous post on this topic. That’s a lot of hyperbole to describe the plight of a rich/white/male athlete sitting in a hotel room waiting to see if he has enough privilege to bend the rules of another country, or only enough to take a first-class ticket home.

    • Tanya says:

      No, they’re free to not travel to Australia.

    • Nic919 says:

      When did Novak get Covid in the last six months anyway? We always hear when tennis players of that level get Covid and this would have been since March 2021. We heard that Nadal got it along with all other elite players. We also heard when Novak got it in 2020 after the dumb tournament he held.

      But why haven’t we heard anything since March? He was at the French open, Wimbledon and the US open and it wasn’t then. Was it since September? It’s pretty damn suspicious that he even had it again. And would be a new variant from 2020, proving that Novak getting Covid once doesn’t matter with new variants, and he wouldn’t be immune to Omicron.

    • A Fan says:

      It’s not ridiculous – it is what it is. It’s a country’s decision to require proof of any kind of vaccination. Countries have required proof of various vaccinations in order to enter WELL BEFORE COVID (ie. Yellow Fever). Having a negative test of said disease is not sufficient and does not mean one can enter the country. Good grief.

      [*This is not new.*]

  26. Ariel says:

    If he gets to stay- this will all have *just* been a circus of fools.
    They better boot him out of the country.
    Vaccines mean something.
    Vaccine mandates mean something legally binding.

    When an anti-vaxxer dies of Covid, i think of it as a suicide by dumb*ssery.
    That is all it is.
    Sadly, he probably won’t suffer real consequences for being the idiot mascot.

    • Grace says:

      100% agree. And, they better boot him out. IF he gets to stay, just another example of a rich person dodging the rules, government cluster &^% aside.

  27. Pilar says:

    Tennis Australia is not the Australian authorities though so I don’t see how he got screwed over by authorities? He might have been screwed by a tennis org that tried to bend the rules but it’s not the tennis federation that is in charge of the border so I really don’t see how he was screwed over. Also even if you think he is part of a political game it’s hard to feel any sympathy when he has a whole team to sort visas etc out for him. I’ll reserve my sympathy for immigrants fleeing violent regimes that are stuck in that quarantine hotel for years and get none of the political help or media attention that ND does

    • Ange says:

      It wouldn’t have been deliberate misinformation by TA. I can’t think of a single organisation on the planet that would have sought out the kind of publicity they’ve gotten from this. They would have known they’d be caught if they’d done it deliberately.


    I’m glad to read some more about this because yesterday my reaction was totally knee-jerk.

    About the concept of quarantine hotels- I didn’t realize this until a few months ago, but staying in the Covid quarantine hotels can cost thousands and thousands of dollars, depending on which one you are in and what part of Australia. I was reading all this information on official government websites. I know the money has to come from somewhere, but everyone isn’t Novak. Not everyone is rich and not everyone is unvaccinated and not everyone is trying to flout the rules. I read there are some payment programs but are difficult to qualify for.

    • Sydneygirl says:

      We don’t really do quarantine hotels anymore here, actually. He is being detained, not as someone who is Covid positive, but as someone who doesn’t fulfill the necessary visa requirements for entry.

  29. AD says:

    I doubt very much a deal will be worked out and this is why. One player using that very medical exemption who made it in has had hers revoked and is on a plane out. The other two are being reviewed also. If they sent her home. Djoko will go home too. In addition, the climate in Australia about COVID vaccines and the fact that elections are coming up is going to make keeping him there very hard. What do you say to the people after all the draconian measures you put in place. That oh he has privilege so we will give him a pass, Good luck with that.

  30. Jackson says:

    No sympathy. None whatsoever. You have a well-paid team. Let them double and triple check not only tournament rules, but also rules to enter the country. Add in the fact that he’s allowing his family to cry ‘political prisoner!’ So yeah, no. Too bad, not sad. Now go take your anti-vaxxer self home and figure out how you can play somewhere else.

  31. KBeth says:

    He’s an arrogant moron.
    That said, Tennis Australia needs to get their sh*t together.

  32. AmelieOriginal says:

    So Tennis Australia effed up and made up its own rules that were not in line with Australia’s federal government. But do you think Djokovic or someone on his team could have googled the official rules and NOT Tennis Australia’s? It’s his own fault for not checking them if he didn’t. And if he did, but figured he could waltz his way through border patrol while waving Tennis Australia’s rules in their faces, what a reality check that must have been to be detained and forced to quarantine. He got into this mess by refusing to be vaccinated, those are the consequences.I’m sure once he’s “free” and makes an official statement after this fiasco, he’ll be blaming everyone under the sun but himself.

    Also this story was circulating on Twitter on how he was “diagnosed” with a gluten sensitivity by a doctor who basically put a piece of bread on his stomach (not kidding): I sent that article to my sister who has Celiac’s and without missing a beat she was like “Oh yeah it’s called nutrition response testing” and supposedly it’s a big thing in some circles (my sister was diagnosed through regular medical tests)… Explains his anti vaccine stance and a lot of other things.

  33. teecee says:

    I really do not agree with this take. They did try to bend the rules for him but I bet my bottom dollar that he lied about being infected in the last 6 months. I think he faked his documents, which means EVEN THOUGH Tennis Australia tried some funny stuff to get him in, he was STILL going to screw over Tennis Australia by lying to them, too.

    • Lady D says:

      You are probably right about screwing over TA. What a dick he is.
      I wonder if the men who have been there for years is having any impact on him at all?

    • Nic919 says:

      When since April or March would be have gotten it anyway? He went to all the slams so that takes us to early September. And it’s bs to believe that Novak getting Covid again wouldn’t be reported as it was reported for Nadal getting it. I think he’s lying on top of tennis Australia trying to pull strings. They wouldn’t be doing this for a 100 rank player.

  34. Lynne says:

    He can thank Tennis Australia for promising him that he could play when they couldn’t deliver. I think the Australian government has been very straightforward on their regulations to enter the country. He does not qualify to enter and he can get back on a plane whenever he wishes.

    • Emily says:

      I’m glad our Aus Government rules are strict re visa entry. If you’re not vaxxed you can’t come in! Joker would have assumed he would get special treatment like a celebrity. Please get back on a plane and stop acting like you are a political prisoner mate

  35. Natters says:

    In the end it all boils down to greed. Especially from Tennis Australia and an athlete determined to rack up accolades and prize money from tournaments around the world when he refuses to get vaccinated. Deport him please so those around the world can see there are consequences to not following the rules and getting vaccinated.

  36. Kt says:

    Isner being a douche, what a shock 🙄

  37. Stan says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Jamie Dornan miss his father’s funeral because he was shooting in Australia and he couldn’t go back and forth because he needed to follow Ausie COVID rules? If Dornan could follow the rules even in a time of mourning, why can’t NoVax?

  38. Lizzie says:

    Gee, does the word entitled come to mind? Go home Djerk and tell your father to calm down.

  39. Sam says:

    There was/is a very simple solution….get your damn shot! Problem solved…

  40. jferber says:

    I loved the Tom Cardy song! So Novak deliberately hit a tennis judge in the throat with a ball? How does that happen accidentally, as he is the world’s # 1 male tennis player? Horrible.

    • lemontwist says:

      The “maybe you can play your games remote… and not hit line judges in the throat” rhyme took me OUT.

  41. Tootsie McJingle says:

    Anti vaxxers are just a crazy bunch. I accidentally fell into an antivax echo chamber on Twitter and found it to be quite deep and full of stupid. Challenge their ideals with science and evidence and they’re practically rabid!

  42. Lisa says:

    he screwed over himself not sure why criticism of the OP is not allowed

  43. twoz says:

    Tennis Australia seem to have been dodgy st the very least (and the head of Tennis Australia, who was practically crowing when he announced Novaxx Jockitch was coming, has been conspicuous by his absence since this all went down) but citing the Courier-Mail as a source is like citing Page Six.
    Still, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and all that.

  44. Gewels says:

    Entitled twat. He knew the rules, but felt they didn’t apply to him.

  45. jferber says:

    A Czech player had her visa rejected after her “exemption” didn’t work out, so she’s flying back home. But not Novax. He will never back down, even if he has to stay 9 years in the refugee hotel, like that poor man on the news. Go home already, Novak. You lost this one.

    • Barbie1 says:

      His daddy convinced him he is the new Spartacus and the new Jesus so he will never give up and leave. Can’t stand the both of them.

  46. RMP says:

    Being an inconsiderate POS is not a medical condition.

  47. Becky Mae says:

    Tom Cardy is SO brilliant and lives around the corner from me. Thank you for featuring him, poor bloke is really going through it with the entire nation of Serbia threatening to “rape his family” and other stupid, evil shit.

    It’s heinous how his supporters address making out how he’s being “detained”….no, he’s free to go anytime, but he can’t ever Australia…

  48. Rose says:

    I just had to console two children today who lost both their parents three days ago because they fell into the antivaxxer propaganda.

    No sympathy for this spoiled tennis a$$hole. I don’t care. He can rot.

  49. EviesMom says:

    What kind of special moron believes that he is exempt from entry requirements because his professional team told him so? It’s pretty amazing that this guy, whose country imploded in a civil war in the 1990s thinks he’s above sovereign country rules. Novak isn’t special – except in his belief that he’s above the laws that pertain to mere mortals.
    Done with this kind of behaviour.

  50. Kate says:

    Yeah, no, I’m not on this guy’s side. Any non-citizen can be refused entry to a country. There are general guidelines but if you read carefully it usually says that the decision can be made at the discretion of the responsible authorities, so no, I don’t care what exact vaccination rule Australia was working out as he was flying in, he could’ve been refused entry just like any person arriving to a foreign country, it’s always a risk. And it’s not like he was profiled, he is genuinely an increased epidemiological risk, he’s likely to have no symptoms and to contact with many people.

  51. Jaded says:

    Well, well, well…it now appears he had covid last month. Tennis Australia reportedly gave *incorrect interpretations* to players about acceptable grounds for an exemption. That included the interpretation that having had a coronavirus infection within the previous six months would qualify. Since when does Tennis Australia make the rules and ignore the Federal Government’s mandated restrictions?

  52. Rtms says:

    He’s already had Covid in Dec, which means he’s got so many antibodies he doesn’t have to worry about it. I was told not to get tested again for at least 3 months after I had it because I would just continue to test positive for it. He’s fine, he can’t get the virus and can’t spread it.