Retracing the footsteps of Novak Djokovic, from his positive COVID test to landing in Melbourne

World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic continues his interrupted preparation for the Australian Open despite uncertainty over whether he will even be able to stay in the country.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is reviewing the conditions surrounding Djokovic’s visa after his initial cancellation last week was overturned in Monday’s hearing before the Federal Circuit and Family Court, as questions have emerged over the player’s social activity while COVID is positive and details of his travel report incorrect.

A forensic examination takes place for every detail included in Djokovic’s original visa application, his medical exemption certificates, and his travel prior to arriving in Australia.

In an Instagram post today, Djokovic attempted to shed light on some of the “gray areas.” Even Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic’s backing said there were questions only Djokovic could answer.

Here’s a cheat sheet to keep you up to date with the most important details of today’s developments.

The positive test

Djokovic confirmed during Monday’s hearing that he had not been vaccinated against COVID. The only way for him to enter Victoria without a vaccination was to get medical exemption for having an underlying illness that medically prevented him from getting the vaccine or if he could prove he had recently had COVID.

A certificate from the Serbian Institute of Public Health was attached to her medical exemption request, which was granted by the Tennis Australia medical panel, and further approved by a panel of medical experts from Vic Health.

The positive result on the Serbian certificate is dated 16.12.2021 issued at 20:19:56.

A certificate written in Serbian with the letterhead of the Serbian Institute of Health
The medical certificate provided by the Serbian Institute of Health.(Serbian Institute of Health)

Djokovic’s own social media posts show that on December 17, a day after testing positive, he attended a youth tennis awards event. The next day he was pictured doing an interview with French publication L’Equipe.

There was a chorus of demands as to why Djokovic – if he is positive – had mingled so freely with the others.

Going out while COVID is positive

Since Monday’s hearing, Djokovic has posted only twice on social media. Immediately after the court ruling, he tweeted that he was “satisfied and grateful” that his visa cancellation was overturned and that he would focus on what he had flown here for – playing the game. Australian Open.


While he is free to train and prepare for the event, the pressure remains that he can still have his visa canceled – perhaps one of the reasons there has been no interview given by Djokovic or Tennis Australia about Djokovic.

With interest in the story still high, heat was mounted on the social events Djokovic attended while he was positive. This afternoon, he posted a lengthy explanation on Instagram addressing “continuing misinformation” about his appearances, which he called “hurtful and worrying to my family.”

Djokovic was at a basketball game in Belgrade on December 14, after which some people were said to have tested positive. He took a RAT test on December 16 which was negative and “out of caution” Djokovic went for an official PCR test.

On the 17th, still awaiting the official results, he took another RAT, which was negative, and went to a children’s tennis event in Belgrade where he presented awards. Djokovic says it was after this event that he received an official notification from the Serbian Institute of Public Health that his PCR test was positive.


Interview with L’Equipe

Despite knowing then he was positive, Djokovic witnessed a “long-standing engagement” to be interviewed and photographed by L’Equipe.

He says he had other events that day that he canceled, but felt obligated to the magazine reporter, so he attended the interview, making sure he followed them. COVID protocols during his stay. On second thought, Djokovic said, he shouldn’t have done it.

An instagram post in which Novak Djokovic says he
Novak Djokovic has said he does not want to let the L’Equipe reporter down.(Instagram: @djokernole)

Travel dates scrutinized

Djokovic also admitted that his Australian traveler statement information, filled out by his support team, incorrectly checked a box that said ‘no’ when asked ‘Have you traveled or will you travel within 14 days. before your flight to Australia? “.

He had traveled. In December he flew from Serbia to Spain where he now lives with his family. It was from Spain that Djokovic flew to Australia via Dubai before landing in Melbourne and being arrested. The error was “human error”, says Djokovic, “and certainly not deliberate”. He says his agent sincerely apologized for the administrative error.

An instagram in which Novak Djokovic says the error on the form was
Novak Djokovic said “human error” was behind the incorrect entry on his travel declaration.(Instagram: @djokernole)

will he stay, or will he go?

Many questions remain unanswered from key players in this story, but the simplest and most urgent are for Immigration Minister Alex Hawke:

Are you going to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa – yes or no?

Until an answer is answered, Djokovic, the other players and Australian Open officials will be making their way delicately to the draw ceremony tomorrow night, not yet knowing if their main draw card will be available. .


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