Greek-Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios called on Australia on Sunday to “do better” in its handling of Novak Djokovic who is confined to a temporary detention facility in Melbourne as he mounts a legal challenge against the cancellation of his visa.
Kyrgios, who has been an outspoken critic of Djokovic in the past, came to the Serbian star’s defense. He called for Australia to treat Djokovic with more humanity.
“Look I definitely believe in taking action, I got vaccinated because of others and for my mum’s health, but how we are handling Novak’s situation is bad, really bad,” he said.
“Like, these memes, headlines, this is one of our great champions but at the end of the day, he is human. Do better.”
In November, Kyrgios said he didn’t think anyone should be forced to get vaccinated but later added that it would not be “morally right to accept players from overseas that aren’t vaccinated” into Australia.
Debacle about Djokovic visa continues
Djokovic, currently tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 grand slam singles titles and hoping to win his 10th Australian Open title in Melbourne, also received support from fellow player John Isner while the debacle about his visa continues.
Meanwhile, according to the Herald Sun, a leaked document from Tennis Australia (TA) has reportedly shown that the organization wrongly informed unvaccinated players they could enter the country for the Australian Open if they had caught Covid within the last six months.
The Herald Sun reported unvaccinated players were told in December they needed to prove they’d had the virus within the past six months in order to gain an exemption to enter the country and compete in the year’s first grand slam.
Novak Djokovic has thanked fans for their support as he awaits the result of his appeal after being blocked from entering Australia in a row over Covid rules.
In a message on Instagram, the tennis world No. 1 wrote: “Thank you to people around the world for your continuous support. I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated.”
Djokovic is “not being held captive” in Australia
On Friday, Australia’s home affairs minister Karen Andrews said Djokovic is “not being held captive” in the country.
“He is free to leave at any time that he chooses to do so, and Border Force will actually facilitate that,” Andrews told ABC. “It is the individual traveler’s responsibility to make sure that they have in place all the necessary documentation that is needed to enter Australia.”
Andrews’ comments came after Djokovic’s family members back home in Serbia had protested against the actions of the Australian authorities.
“They are holding him captive. Our Novak, our pride. Novak is Serbia, and Serbia is Novak,” Djokovic’s father, Srdjan, said on Thursday.