Tennis-Djokovic thanks fans amid Australian visa row


  • Tennis
  • Friday, 07 Jan 2022

A supporter of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic rallies outside the Park Hotel, where the star athlete is believed to be held while he stays in Australia, in Melbourne, Australia, January 7, 2022. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

(Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic on Friday thanked people around the world for their support amid a visa row over COVID-19 vaccines that has seen him being detained at a Melbourne hotel ahead of this month's Australian Open.

"Thank you to people around the world for your continuous support. I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated," the Serbian wrote on Instagram.

Djokovic was granted a medical exemption from Australia's strict COVID-19 vaccination requirement following a review by two independent panels prior to boarding his flight, but was denied entry upon landing in Melbourne late on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old is currently housed in a government detention hotel in the suburb of Carlton, 5 km (2 miles) north of Melbourne Park, after authorities cancelled his visa when he arrived in Australia.

The player's lawyers launched an appeal seeking to overturn the federal government decision, with a court agreeing not to deport him before a full hearing scheduled for Monday.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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