Novak Djokovic ATP Cup 2021

Fresh evidence emerges of Tennis Australia’s role in Novak Djokovic detainment

Fresh evidence has emerged that Tennis Australia may have played a pivotal role in the mix-up involving Novak Djokovic’s visa.

Djokovic travelled to Australia believing he had been granted a medical exemption to enter the country and play the Australian Open.

However, he was stopped at the border and had his visa cancelled after failing to provide evidence to validate an exemption. Djokovic is understood to have been claiming exemption based on evidence he had contracted COVID in the last six months.

Indeed, it has now emerged that Djokovic received pre-tournament information direct from Tennis Australia that told him a previous COVID infection within the last six months would serve in lieu of a vaccination and grant the exemption.

Tennis Australia information sheet

Tennis Australia information sheet

The information is claimed to be “accurate as of December 6” and claims to have been a result of consolation with “Australian Federal and and State Public Health Authorities,” but letters to Tiley from the Australian Department of Health dated November 29 contained wholly contrary information.

“I can confirm that people who contracted COVID-19 within the past six months and seek to enter Australia from overseas, and have not received two doses of a Therapeutic Goods Administration-approved vaccine … are not considered to be fully vaccinated,” health minister Greg Hunt told Tiley.

However, Tiley’s Tennis Australia advised players more than a week later: “The following has now been clarified as a category for which you may be eligible for a temporary medical exemption: Recent PCR-confirmed SARS CoV-2 infection (after 31 July 2021), where vaccination can be deferred until six months after the infection.

Djokovic is currently in an immigration detention hotel awaiting his chance to appeal the decision to deport him.

The case is expected to be heard on Monday 10 in Melbourne.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.