“Because of me, so much attention”

Novak Djokovic not too long ago recalled the recollections of his controversial deportation from Australia in 2022 earlier than the beginning of the Australian Open.

The Serb, who remains to be but to take the COVID-19 vaccine, entered the nation again then hoping to take part within the event with a medical exemption. However, the Australian Border Patrol declined to let him into the nation citing the vaccine mandate that was in enforcement on the time.

The Serb went to court docket, and within the meantime, he was roomed at The Park Hotel in Melbourne, the place most unlawful immigrants had been additionally detained. Following a prolonged authorized battle, the World No. 1 was deported from Down Under, an expertise that continues to influence him to this present day.

Speaking to Serbian reporters forward of the 2024 version, the place he’s the defending champion, Novak Djokovic revealed that the majority of the detainees who shared the resort with him have now been launched.

It is the “one good factor” that got here out of his harrowing ordeal, in line with the 24-time Grand Slam champion. He famous that as a result of of his high-profile case, much more media consideration was targeted on the place, which led to extra strain to let the detainees out.

“From what I’ve understood, most of the detainees had been launched. It was one good factor that got here out of all that – as a result of of me, that place obtained so much media consideration, the strain from the media adopted and folks had been launched,” Novak Djokovic was quoted as saying by Tennis Majors.

The 36-year-old additionally added that Iranian immigrant Mehdi, who was detained on the resort for 9 years earlier than being launched not too long ago, has been in contact with him as effectively.

“I really feel some type of particular reference to Mehdi. We keep up a correspondence, he lives in Minnesota now, so we’ll see one another once I go to the US. He advised me that he was grateful for the eye my case introduced,” he added.

“It didn’t really feel, my abdomen was in knots” – Novak Djokovic on how he felt after recalling what occurred in 2022 this yr

Novak Djokovic at a pre-Australian Open 2024 event
Novak Djokovic at a pre-Australian Open 2024 occasion

After his deportation in 2022, Novak Djokovic returned to Australia in 2023. However, he arrived first in Adelaide for an ATP 250 occasion, following which he got here to Melbourne by means of one other terminal.

This yr, nonetheless, Djokovic revealed that he had to make use of the identical terminal that he did in 2022, and needed to relive that very same expertise as soon as once more. The World No. 1 made it clear that he didn’t re-feel the emotional weight of the ordeal.

“No, I haven’t been there. Last yr I flew to Adelaide first, so we landed at one other terminal in Melbourne. When I got here this yr, we landed on the identical terminal as in 2022 – I noticed the entire path I went over that day, the immigration workplace, I even acknowledged a person who was there two years in the past. It didn’t really feel, my abdomen was in knots,” Novak Djokovic stated within the aforementioned dialog with Serbian reporters.

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