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Novak Djokavic supporters cheer their support for tennis star outside Australian detention hotel

CA, 09 Jan 2022
Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic kept a low profile in his third day in Australian immigration detention on Saturday, as a blame game between Australian authorities over handling of COVID-19 vaccine exemptions gathered steam.

The Serbian superstar, a vocal opponent of vaccine mandates who came to Australia in hopes of winning his 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open, has been holed up since Thursday in a modest Melbourne hotel after his visa was canceled due to problems with a medical exemption.

Djokovic's lawyers are preparing a legal challenge to his visa cancellation, which is scheduled to go to a federal court hearing on Monday, and have been given until Saturday evening, local time, to file a summary of their case.

But other than a short post on Instagram thanking fans for their support, Djokovic, one of the world's wealthiest athletes, has made no public appearance or comment since entering the Park Hotel which is also home to dozens of asylum seekers trying to enter the country.

The Australian newspaper reported Djokovic had requested access to his chef and a tennis court while in detention but that his request was denied. Groups of anti-vaccine protesters, Djokovic supporters and refugee advocates formed an unusual alliance outside the hotel, which was under police guard.

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