Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Novak Djokovic has angered Australians with Australian Open medical exemption debacle, claims Barbara Schett

Barbara Schett feels the Australian people are enraged by Novak Djokovic being granted an Australian Open medical exemption and thinks they are “really angry, very hurt and tired.”

20-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic is currently being held in an Australian immigration hotel after his visa was cancelled when his medical exemption was deemed unacceptable.

Earlier this week, the World number one revealed that he had been given a medical exemption to compete at the Australian Open despite not sharing his Covid-19 vaccination status.

Vaccination is required for players to both compete at the ‘Happy Slam’ and enter into Australia, unless a valid medical exemption is provided.

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the Australian Government have been extremely strict with their measures to combat the virus, placing the country under multiple lockdowns and enforcing vaccinations.

As such, should Djokovic be cleared to play at the Australian Open Schett feels he will face a hard time from the Melbourne Park spectators.

Commentator and presenter Schett told Eurosport that “first of all, as an athlete, you can’t exercise, you can’t play. You’re locked up in a small room, and he’ll be certainly thinking about what is going to happen.

“He will fight until the very end, as we know that’s what he does on the tennis court as well. But it’s going to be a long three days for Novak Djokovic and then we all find out what’s going to happen.

“They have known for many months now that you have to be double vaccinated to be able to enter Australia. So there was a long notice what to have to do to be able to come to Australia. And that’s what Rafa Nadal also said.

“Everybody has to do the part to be able to play and to protect the whole world from this virus. So that’s not just Rafa Nadal, a lot of players, think like that. There’s not a lot of positive thoughts going towards Novak Djokovic at the moment,” Schett claimed.

“Once again, I have to mention, the Victorian population is really angry. They’re very hurt. They are tired of what has happened in the last couple of years having been locked away.

“I think it’s going to be a rough time for Novak Djokovic if he steps out there at Rod Laver Arena and I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of fans.

“There could be a lot of whistling and booing going on. That’s what I feel at the moment. That’s how the Australian population is reacting.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.