Tennis fans joke about Novak Djokovic as tennis star forced to leave Australia

Tennis fans couldn't resist cracking a joke after Novak Djokovic was held at Melbourne Airport for several hours while Australian officials decided whether or not he would be allowed to enter the country.

His appearance at the Australian Open later this month had been in doubt over local rules requiring all travellers to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Djokovic has on numerous occasions refused to reveal his vaccination status, citing medical privacy for his silence on the issue.

The tennis ace had happily declared to fans on Tuesday that he had been granted a medical exemption and that he was heading straight for the airport so he could compete at the first Grand Slam of 2022.

But while he was in the air reports emerged of an issue with his visa application, and when he touched down in Melbourne he was held for questioning by Border Force officials.

It was a situation not dissimilar to some real life cases shown on popular TV programme Nothing to Declare, also known as Border Security: Australia's Front Line.

And those following the situation on social media were quick to point that out, cracking jokes at the Serbian's expense.

"Please let me know when this Border Security episode will air," one wrote.

Another added: "When will the Border Security episode featuring Novak Djokovic air? Asking for a million friends."

A third posted: "Live scenes at Melbourne Airport Border Control," along with an edited photo of a Border Force agent with the head of Djokovic's Grand Slam rival Roger Federer.

Even Paddy Power couldn't resist getting in on the joke, as the bookmaker Tweeted: "Novak Djokovic has been denied entry to Australia after a mix-up with his visa application.

"The incident will appear on a future episode of Border Security: Australia's Front Line, as the authorities deal with Novak and some lad who's tried to smuggle in 87 lizards up his a**e."

After several hours of waiting, it was eventually announced that Djokovic's visa had been denied and that he would not be allowed to enter Australia.

Australian health minister Greg Hunt said the tennis ace would be sent home as he had failed to provide "appropriate standards of proof" to be allowed to enter the country.

However, the tennis star's lawyers are set to appeal the decision and will reportedly file an emergency federal injunction in a bid to prevent his deportation.

If that should fail and he is forced to leave, it seems unlikely the Serbian will be able to defend his Australian Open title when the tournament gets under way on January 17.

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