Djokovic breaks silence on visa fiasco as Australian Open nightmare continues

Novak Djokovic has broken his silence after his visa was dramatically revoked at Melbourne Airport.

The Serbian star is currently being held in a Government detention hotel in Victoria, after his legal team sought an injunction to prevent him being deported out of Australia.

The decision on that appeal won't be known until Monday, but Djokovic has now taken to Instagram to deliver a message to his fans.

"Thank you to people around the world for your continuous support. I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated," he said.

It's the first time that Djokovic, 34, has posted since his controversial announcement on Tuesday that after months of speculation, he would be competing at the Australian Open despite not being vaccinated against Covid-19.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion revealed he had been permitted to compete via a medical exemption, only to land in Victoria on Wednesday and be declined entry through customs.

Border force officials then interrogated him for several hours before confirming his visa would be revoked, and he was due to be deported out of the country on Thursday.

That process has now been delayed as his legal team fight to ensure he will be able to defend his Grand Slam title in Melbourne Park. In the meantime, Djokovic is confined to the Park Hotel in Carlton – which also holds refugees and people in quarantine after contracting Covid-19.

Public sympathy for Djokovic has been in short supply, although there have been supporters – as well as protestors – gathering outside his hotel to demonstrate.

News of his message was promptly posted on Twitter, and prompted a mixed reaction from tennis fans.

"He thinks he’s on some sort of crusade doesn’t he," replied @HaddTennisFan, while @LSALad queried "Can he also, therefore, feel the lack of support?"

@tohabebj took a similar line, joking "His hearing isn’t great then. Get jabbed."

Djokovic is now not the only Australian Open hopeful facing such an ordeal, with female Czech player Renata Voracova also detained after border force officials ordered her to leave the country.

On Thursday, Djokovic's mother, Dijana, addressed reporters in Belgrade and accused authorities of keeping her son "prisoner."

"I spoke with him a couple of hours ago, he was good, we didn't speak a lot but we spoke for a few minutes," she said.

"They are keeping him like a prisoner, it's just not fair, it's not human."

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