Novak Djokovic being ‘guarded by police’ as Serb’s father details Australian Open chaos

Novak Djokovic ‘made situation worse’ says Jo Durie

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Novak Djokovic is being held in a room guarded by police in a Melbourne airport as he waits to learn whether or not he will be allowed into the country to play in the Australian Open, his father has said.

Djokovic landed in the country’s Tullamarine Airport on Wednesday after a 14-hour flight from Dubai.

He had announced 24 hours earlier that he was being given a medical exemption to play in the Grand Slam, a decision which has sparked furious debate.

Australia chief Craig Tiley said: “Professional players do not have to reveal their personal or medical information… the grounds are the same for everyone.

“It is up to Novak whether he wants to disclose his medical status and personal information.

“Every application was reviewed anonymously. No one knew whose application was received by who. They looked at it purely on the grounds that were set medically by the government.”

But upon arriving Down Under, it has emerged that a visa mix-up may wreck the 34-year-old’s chances of participating.

Djokovic was held by security at the airport and has yet to pass through passport control having seemingly not met strict border regulations.

“Novak is currently in a room which no one can enter,” Srdjan Djokovic said to “In front of the room are two policemen.”

He is said to have added in another interview: “I have no idea what’s going on, they’re holding my son captive for five hours.

“This is a fight for the libertarian world, this is not just a fight for Novak, but a fight for the whole world! If they don’t let him go in half an hour, we will gather on the street, this is a fight for everyone.”

It remains unclear if a resolution to the problem will be found that allows Djokovic to enter Australia and play the Slam, which begins on January 17.

The Age report that via sources the chances of him playing are decreasing the longer the situation continues, with border forces assessing documentation that supports his medical exemption.

Djokovic’s team is claimed to have applied for a visa that does not allow for medical exemptions.

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The nine-time Australian Open winner, and the reigning champion, is bidding for a record 21st Slam triumph in Melbourne and is currently tied on 20 with rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has however warned the world No 1 that he “would be on the next plane home” if he cannot provide the correct evidence for his medical exemption.

The issue with Djokovic’s visa only arose while he was already flying to Australia and the state of Victoria’s acting sports minister Jaala Pulford said on Twitter they will not support the player’s visa application.

She said: “We’ve always been clear on two points: visa approvals are a matter for the Federal Government, and medical exemptions are a matter for doctors.”

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