Boris Johnson drops Novak Djokovic Wimbledon hint amid Australian Open controversy
Novak Djokovic’s brother abruptly ends press conference
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hinted that Novak Djokovic may be required to get a vaccination against Covid-19 if he wishes to play at Wimbledon later this year. The world No.1 has made headlines around the globe this week amid huge controversy as he was initially blocked from entering Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open.
Djokovic was kept in a hotel and looked set to be deported after his visa was cancelled, with Border Control not satisifed with his explanation as to why he was given an exemption from getting a vaccine before arriving in the country.
However, following an appeal this has been overturned, and the Serb now looks set to feature in the tournament after all.
Nevertheless, there will now be plenty of debate over whether or not he will be allowed to take part in other similar competitions, with doubt over the French Open in May after new rules set by their president Emmanuel Macron stating that all sportspeople must be vaccinated.
All eyes will turn to Wimbledon after the French Open, and on Monday Johnson was asked whether Djokovic would be potentially banned from the prestigious tournament.
And he was coy in his reply, saying: “Look, I think it’s important for the Australian authorities to make their own dispositons.
“All I would say about Novak Djokovic, against whom I have played tennis actually – he’s pretty good – is that I believe in vaccination and I think it’s a wonderful thing to do.
“I think everybody should get behind a programme that is allowing this country to be the most open economy in Europe and simultaneously to protect people up and down the land, so it has massive advantages.”
On Monday afternoon Djokovic broke his silence on the saga, and was pictured on a tennis court having returned to action following his forced hotel detention.
He took to Twitter to post: “I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened,I want to stay and try to compete at the @AustralianOpen
“I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans.
“For now I cannot say more but THANK YOU all for standing with me through all this and encouraging me to stay strong.”
The Australian Open gets underway next week, and it will be intriguing to see what kind of reception Djokovic gets from the locals, many of whom have been left furious by his arrival in their country.
Djokovic’s brother Djordje said in a press conference: “We wanted to make the situation as clear as we can at the moment. We as a family are very emotional about my brother. It’s very difficult to defend Novak and not to offend anyone at the same time.
“We are fighting for justice and rule of law and we have done everything we could to follow all the procedures and tell everyone in the world that we need to send love to Novak and help him to overcome this difficult situation as a winner in the end. I would like to thank people across the world, we have seen wonderful scenes everywhere and today we saw outside of the offices of his lawyers where they waited for the ruling.
“The truth and justice has come out, we want to thank the justice system of Australia, the judge who did it mutually and looked into every fact in this story. Novak was harassed and detained and taken to this court case. The situation is conflicting and difficult but I would like to thank them for being fair.”
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