Anti-vaxx tennis star Novak Djokovic breaks silence amid Covid visa row

7 January 2022, 13:47 | Updated: 7 January 2022, 17:15

Anti-vaxx tennis star Novak Djokovic has thanked fans for their support.
Anti-vaxx tennis star Novak Djokovic has thanked fans for their support. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

World tennis No1 Novak Djokovic has thanked fans for their continued support from his quarantine hotel in Australia amid a visa row over his vaccine status.

The tennis star said on his Instagram page: "Thank you to people around the world for your continuous support. I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated."

The Serbian professional has been detained at a Melbourne hotel ahead of this month's Australian Open.

It follows a row over the decision to grant him an exemption from the requirement to be vaccinated against Covid in order to play in the upcoming Australian Open, one of the main tennis competitions in the calendar.

Competitors had been told ahead of the event that an exemption from the vaccination rules would be granted by an expert independent panel if they were able to provide sufficient evidence.

Novak Djokovic's father has since compared the embattled tennis star to slave revolt leader Spartacus, telling reporters: "Tonight they can throw him in a dungeon, tomorrow they can put him in chains.

"The truth is he is like water and water paves its own path.

"Novak is the Spartacus of the new world which won't tolerate injustice, colonialism and hypocrisy."

Read more: Djokovic's wife calls for 'love and forgiveness' as tennis star held in anti-vax row

The world number one should find out on Monday whether he'll be able to compete in the Australian Open tennis, when his lawyers challenge a decision to deny him a visa.

His supporters have been protesting outside the hotel where he's being held, with Australia home affairs minister Karen Andrews denying he's "being held captive".

Read more: Novak Djokovic to be held in Australia detention hotel for days in vaccine row

Djokovic's wife has called for "forgiveness" and said love is "the only law that we should all respect" amid the ongoing row.

She said on Twitter she was finding "gratitude" in his situation despite the fact they could not be together.

Meanwhile, it's been revealed Australia's border force are also investigating two other individuals.

It's understood Czech Republic player, Renata Voracova is also in medical detention.

The Australian Border Force is reported to have cancelled her visa and has detained the tennis player.

The Czech Republic’s athlete is being held hostage at the same “hotel quarantine facility” as Serbian star Novak Djokovic, it has been reported.