Novak Djokovic: ‘I just want the opportunity to compete at Australian Open’

Novak Djokovic has released a lengthy statement answering queries regarding his Covid infection and asked he simply be allowed to play tennis.

The world number one was detained at the airport when he tried to enter Australia as the legitimacy of his vaccination exemption was questioned.

He, though, successfully appealed the decision to cancel his visa and has admitted mistakes were made, but stressed all he wants to do now is play the Australian Open.

“It is always an honour and a privilege to play in the Australian Open,” He said in a statement on Instagram.

The Australian Open is much-loved by players, fans and the community, not just in Victoria and in Australia, but around the globe.

“I just want to have the opportunity to compete against the best players in the world and perform before one of the best crowds in the world.”

Djokovic also addressed confusion over some of the details that emerged in his court documents.

He was pictured after his Covid test upon which his exemption was based, and was not wearing a mask never mind self-isolating.

It is something that has been the subject of investigation by the media, and he admits he did attend one event whilst knowingly infected with Covid, which he describes as ‘an error of judgement.’

“I had not received the notification of a positive PCR test result until after that event,” Djokovic said.

“The next day, on 18 December I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfil a long-standing commitment for a L’Equipe interview and photoshoot. I cancelled all other events except for the L’Equipe interview.

“I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L’Equipe interview as I didn’t want to let the journalist down, but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken.

 

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A post shared by Novak Djokovic (@djokernole)

“While I went home after the interview to isolate for the required period, on reflection, this was an error of judgement and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment.”

Finally, Novak Djokovic explained the queries on his travel declaration, on which he assured Australian Border Force he had not travelled within 14 days of his arrival in Australia – a claim that was false.

“On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf – as I told immigration officials on my arrival – and my agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia,” he explained.

“This was a human error and certainly not deliberate. We are living in challenging times in a global pandemic and sometimes these mistakes can occur.”

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