Dubai (AFP) – World tennis star Novak Djokovic arrived in Dubai on Monday after being kicked out of Australia due to his coronavirus vaccination rules, which prevented him from contesting his 21st Grand Slam title, a reporter from the world has reported. AFP.
The Serbian tennis player got off the plane with two suitcases and a mask, after landing at 05:32 local time (01:32 GMT) at Dubai International Airport.
The tennis number one was due to be the central figure on Monday’s Australian Open opening night but was unable to take part in the tournament after a court rejected his bid to stay in the country.
The Australian tournament started on Monday without its main star, who has won it nine times.
Djokovic’s departure came after a legal dispute with Australian authorities polarized world opinion and damaged the image of both parties.
The tennis player said he was “extremely disappointed” after a federal court unanimously upheld the government’s decision to revoke his visa.
After the decision, the star athlete boarded a flight from Melbourne Airport to Dubai on Sunday evening accompanied by aides and authorities.
Twice in the past 11 days, the Australian government has revoked Djokovic’s visa and detained him in a migrant centre, saying his presence could spark anti-vaccine sentiment amid a wave of variants of covid-19 infections.
The Serbian tennis player challenged both decisions in court, where he won the first round but lost the deciding phase on Sunday.
The Serbian tennis player could go three years without being able to enter Australia, which would make it difficult for him to win his 21st Grand Slam. He currently has 20 titles like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Australian Prime Minister, Conservative Scott Morrison, said what happened “sends a very clear message”.
However, he suggested in a radio interview that Djokovic could return within the next three years ‘under the right circumstances’.
With no further opportunity to appeal, Djokovic acknowledged that the match was over and he would not take part in the Melbourne tournament.
“I can’t stay in Australia and play the Australian Open,” he said on the eve of the tournament he has dominated for a decade.
“Hopefully now we can focus on the game and the tournament that I love,” he added. But the controversy appeared to continue with Djokovic’s image badly damaged as Australia worsened his reputation for welcoming visitors with hostility.
Many Australians tired of long lockdowns and border restrictions believe Djokovic rigged the system to evade vaccination rules to enter the country.
“I think the right thing was done to ask him out. If he was still here it would all be about Djokovic, but the tournament is so much more than him,” he told AFP. tennis fan Simon Overton in Melbourne.
“However this point was reached, Novak is one of the great champions of our sport and his absence from the Australian Open is a loss to the game,” said the ATP, which regulates world tennis.
Similarly, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has been harsh in his criticism of Australian authorities.
“They think that with this, with these 10 days of mistreatment, they have humiliated Djokovic, but they have humiliated themselves. Djokovic will be able to return to his country with his head held high,” Vucic told state media.
In the immediate future, the tennis player may have to respond to aspects of his conduct that emerged during the court hearings.
It turned out that the 34-year-old tennis player contracted covid-19 in mid-December and, according to his own version, did not self-isolate after learning he had tested positive.
The tennis player refused to present evidence in the case to avoid the idea that he is anti-vaccine.
“He has become an icon for anti-vaccine groups,” said government lawyer Stephen Lloyd. “Rightly or wrongly, he is seen as supporting anti-vaccine views and his presence here (Australia) helps that.”
Spaniard Nadal criticized his rival on Saturday, noting that “the Australian Open is much more important than a player”.
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