Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

PTPA release statement regarding Novak Djokovic’s detainment ahead of Australian Open

The PTPA have issued a statement regarding Novak Djokovic’s detainment by the Australian Government and reveal he wishes to “personally share the facts in his own words and in his own time.”

20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic appeared to be heading down under for the Australian Open last week when he announced he was granted a medical exemption to compete.

Medical exemptions are required for players who are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons after it was announced in November that players will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 should they wish to compete.

Over the past few months, World number one Djokovic has continually refused to publicly declare his vaccination status, causing doubts to arise over his involvement at the first Slam of the season.

However, Djokovic was detained upon arrival at the Australian border after his medical exemption proved to be insufficient and his visa was cancelled. He has been allowed to stay in Australia with an injunction as he looks to fight his deportation in court.

Djokovic’s family have been vocal in their support for the Serbian icon, with father Srdjan claiming the Australian government are “trying to crucify Novak and throw him to his knees.”

Similarly, Djokovic’s brother Djordje called the saga the “greatest sporting scandal.”

In a statement, the PTPA said “the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) has been diligently monitoring the detainment of professional tennis player Novak Djokovic by the Australian Government.

“The PTPA has been in close contact with Mr. Djokovic, his family and legal counsel, government officials, and Australian Open leadership.

“Mr. Djokovic has verified his well-being to us. He has also requested that we allow him to personally share the facts of his detainment in his own words, and in his own time.

“With the utmost respect for all personal views on vaccinations, vaccinated athletes and unvaccinated athletes (with an approved medical exemption) should both be afforded the freedom to compete.

“We will continue to support and advocate for our members, and all players, in a manner that is acceptable to them.

“On the Serbian Orthodox Christmas Eve, we are grateful Mr. Djokovic is safe and we are able to communicate with him. We will continue to monitor his health, safety, and well-being.

“We look forward to his time back on the court.”

The PTPA was established by Djokovic and Canadian star Vasek Pospisil in an effort to represent singles players within the top 500 and doubles players amongst the ATP and WTA top 200.

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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.