Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic’s mum opens up about her son’s exemption saga


The mother of Novak Djokovic has opened up about his Australian Open visa exemption debacle and claims he ‘didn’t know’ he was infected with Covid-19 while pictured attending public events in Serbia last month.

The defending Australian Open champion has finally started his preparations for the Melbourne grand slam after he spent five days in immigration detention. 

The world number one claimed he was exempt from mandatory vaccination entry rules upon arrival in Melbourne after he tested positive to the virus on December 16. 

Dijana Djokovic claims her son ‘didn’t know’ he had Covid while attending events in the following days, despite court documents confirming the positive PCR test.

Photos show the tennis star hugging children at an event on December 17 before  attending the Serbian National Postal Service launch of his own stamp.

Novak Djokovic was all smiles at his first full practice session on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday after he spent five days hold up in immigration detention

‘He didn’t know, probably, he didn’t know because when he realised he was positive then he go to isolation,’ she told Sunrise on Wednesday from Belgrade.

‘I really cannot say but it’s maybe the best is to ask him.’

Ms Djokovic opened up on the heavy toll her son’s visa saga has had on the rest of family back home, describing the last week as the ‘most difficult time for us’.

‘We never have, even in my worst dreams thought that something like this was going to happen,’ she said.

‘So honestly, for a few days, we weren’t even sleeping so we are really tired and trying to do our best to spread the word about what is going on.’

Dijana Djokovic (pictured) opened up about her son's ongoing visa saga to Channel Seven's Sunrise  on Wednesday morning

Dijana Djokovic (pictured) opened up about her son’s ongoing visa saga to Channel Seven’s Sunrise  on Wednesday morning

Despite his successful court appeal to stay, Djokovic may still be booted from the country with Immigration Minister Alex Hawke yet to decide whether to use his personal powers to cancel his visa for a second time.

Australian Border Force has also launched a fresh investigation into whether the Djokovic lied on a travel declaration form before entering the country.

His mother is still ‘very worried’ he may still be deported by authorities ahead of next week’s Australian Open as she issued an impassioned plea to let her son stay.

‘I was reading in the newspapers there’s still the possibility they may deport him so I’m very worried and I realise that this is not over yet and we are all praying that he will stay,’ she said.

‘I hope everyone is thinking the same.

‘Don’t throw him out, he is a tennis player, he is not politician, he is not a criminal, he is not a murderer, he’s just a tennis player, the best in the world, just let him play and show what he knows.’

‘He came to Australia to play and to win the Australian Open, this is his goal.’

She doesn’t think it’s fair Mr Hawke may still deport Djokovic.

‘The Honourable Judge Kelly made the decision he was free so I cannot understand why one man can make the other decision…… but I don’t know your laws in your country so I really don’t understand,’ she added.

Dijana Djokovic claims her son 'didn't know' he had Covid while attending events (pictured at the Serbian National Postal Service launch) in the following days of a positive PCR test on December 16

Dijana Djokovic claims her son ‘didn’t know’ he had Covid while attending events (pictured at the Serbian National Postal Service launch) in the following days of a positive PCR test on December 16

Ms Djokovic also defended her son’s strong stance on vaccination and respects his decision to not get the jab.

‘As mother I can’t pressure him,’ she said. 

‘I don’t know what the problem is if he doesn’t want to get vaccinated – that is his choice,’ she said.

‘Each person on this world has the opportunity to make this choice, this is like human rights.’

Ms Djokovic then slammed the rules banning players from taking part in the Australian Open unless they are fully vaccinated or have a medical exemption.

‘I don’t understand this law that only if you’re vaccinated you can play,’ she said.

‘It’s not that I’m against vaccination, of course I’m not, but if you’re vaccinated, it’s not that you’re protected from the coronavirus.

Novak Djokovic (pictured on Tuesday) may still be deported from Australia before next week's grand slam, despite his successful court appeal on Monday

Novak Djokovic (pictured on Tuesday) may still be deported from Australia before next week’s grand slam, despite his successful court appeal on Monday

‘Lot of people who have two or three vaccines get ill.

‘Are they afraid he’s going to cough on the court? It’s silly.’

She added her son is as hungry as ever to win his tenth Australian Open title and become the first men’s tennis player in history to win 21 grand slam titles. 

‘Now he has more strength and power to win this, because he wants to show everybody in the world why he is the best in the world,’ Mrs Djokovic said.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk