While Novak Djokovic was allowed to travel to Australia, his family gave a curious press conference in Belgrade. The Djokovic clan surprised met martial rhetoric. The abrupt end of the performance suited this.
Novak Djokovic is allowed to stay in Australia – for the time being. Because the situation around the Serbian tennis star has not yet been finally clarified after the back and forth about his visa. While his lawyers are in contact with the authorities in Australia, his family back home also spoke up.
At a memorable press conference held by his parents and brother, a few questions were supposed to be answered. However, one caused the event to be canceled. A German journalist spoke up and asked what the positive corona test on December 16, 2021 and the photos of the tennis player without a mask on December 17 and 18 last year were all about. Thereupon mother Dijana ended the media discussion prematurely.
Trophies and a religious image are placed around the bust of the Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic during a press conference. (Source: Darko Vojinovic / dpa)
But not only the abrupt interruption of the press conference can be viewed with skepticism, some other statements by the Djokovic family are also questionable.
Australia wanted Djokovic “to withdraw human rights”
Djokovic’s father Srdjan initially used the performance to make it clear more than once what a good person his son was. He (Novak) has already acted as a benefactor several times, also and especially to enable tennis players affected by some stricter entry regulations in view of the corona pandemic to return to their home countries. However, Novak himself decided in Australia to “fight for his freedom and for his right to self-determination”, which the Australian government wanted to challenge him.
Djokovic’s family described the tennis star’s situation in dramatic terms. It had been difficult days for all of them. You suffered a lot with your brother and son in Australia.
A man drapes the Serbian flag around the statue of tennis player Djokovic before the press conference. (Source: Darko Vojinovic / dpa)
Australia’s Novak Djokovic government wanted to “withdraw human rights,” as his father put it. The authorities wanted to force Novak to sign a document with which he consented to be “deported to his home country Serbia”. But the current number one in the tennis world rankings have bravely faced the powerful who wanted to deprive him of his rights.
In all its rhetoric, the story looked like a martyr myth – Djokovic in a duel with the evil Australian Corona politicians. Novak, according to his father, is just a little boy from a poor country and he has now “got the upper hand” in the lonely fight against the tennis bourgeoisie. Djokovic’s uncle added, “Thanks to everyone who helped free him.”
Tennis star vs. technocrats
The staging seemed clear: here the successful tennis star, who gets into the mills of state repression through no fault of her own, there the evil technocrats. “I am not vaccinated,” said Djokovic, according to the text of his questioning at the airport that was published in the process. The border guards did not recognize the medical exemption he had presented and withdrew his visa. Djokovic was taken to a notorious deportation hotel.
Djokovic’s lawyers took legal action against the visa cancellation. They argued that Djokovic’s application for a waiver was approved by two independent medical bodies. They cited a positive corona test by the Serb on December 16 as the reason for the approval. The judge agreed with the tennis player (Read more about this here). He explained that Djokovic had not been given enough time to clarify the situation before his visa was canceled. The Australian state now has to bear the costs of Djokovic’s high-profile legal team.
The mother Dijana Djokovic sat between the men of the family. She described her son’s success in court as “the greatest success of his career.” Her son will win many more Grand Slam titles, she predicted.
When a reporter then asked why Djokovic appeared to be in good health at several PR appointments after his alleged corona infection on December 16 and made selfies with his fans without a mask, the mother spoke up and aborted the press conference without further ado. Obviously, critical inquiries are not wanted from the tennis star’s appendix.