Novak Djokovic has been held in an airport room for over 5 hours, and his dad says Australia is holding the tennis star 'captive'

Novak Djokovic.Mike Segar/Reuters
Novak Djokovic.Mike Segar/Reuters  

The father of tennis star Novak Djokovic said his son has been held in a room without a phone for over five hours and is being held "captive" by Australia before the Australian Open tournament.

"I have no idea what's going on, they are holding my son captive for five hours," Djokovic's father told Serbian media in a statement read on-air on Australian news show Sunrise.

Djokovic's father added: "If they don't let him go in half an hour, we will gather on the street - this is a fight for everyone."

The government later declared that Djokovic's visa was being revoked and he would be deported. They also clarified that he did have access to his phone.

The tennis star was reportedly stuck at the Melbourne airport after arriving for the Australian Open when he brought the wrong visa amid confusion over his exemption from being vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to the Sunrise report, Djokovic was "inside a room by himself, no mobile phone, being grilled by the border force."

Djokovic's alleged exemption has caused anger among Australians who have faced strict COVID-19 measures throughout the pandemic.

Djokovic has previously refused to say whether or not he is vaccinated and received a medical exemption to be able to compete in the tournament set to begin on January 17.

In April of 2020, Djokovic said on a Facebook Live video that he is "opposed" to vaccines.

"Personally I am opposed to vaccination, and I wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel.'

On Tuesday, Djokovic wrote on Twitter that he was heading to Australia and was granted the exemption.

"I've spent fantastic quality time with loved ones over break & today I'm heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let's go 2022!" he wrote.

Djokovic tied Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal last year with 20 grand slams, the most of all-time. He has won the Austrlian Open a record nine times.


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