World tennis number one Novak Djokovic’s request for access to a personal chef and a tennis court while detained by Australian immigration officials has been denied as he faces deportation after his visa was cancelled.
Djokovic is currently embroiled in a legal battle over whether he is exempt from the country’s stringent COVID vaccination requirements, as his lawyers fight to ensure the Serb can defend his Australian Open title.
Djokovic’s visa was revoked after it was reviewed by immigration officials in the country, in accordance with the country’s strict immigration laws for the unvaccinated.
In addition, alleged photos of the food served to refugees in the hotel have surfaced online, with some claiming the food contains mould and maggots.
Saturday, January 8, will be Djokovic’s third day in the Melbourne immigration detention facility, which is a few miles away from the luxury hotels where the majority of Australian Open players are staying.
Lawyers for the 34-year-old claim he tested positive for COVID-19 on December 16 and had a valid visa and medical exemption from the Australian Open organizer.
His lawyers also requested alternative accommodations so that he could train for the tournament, which begins on January 17, but this request was also denied.
Djokovic, who has previously expressed reservations about coronavirus vaccines, wrote on Instagram on Friday: “Thank you to everyone all over the world for your unending support. It’s palpable to me, and it’s greatly appreciated.”
Hossein Latifi, a man staying in the same hotel as Djokovic, told Reuters: “We’re confined to our room. There is no outside air. We don’t have a training facility. There is no gym in this building. It’s extremely difficult.”
The 32-year-old, who is originally from Iran, went on to say: “We are refugees, and we are innocent people who have committed no crime. They’re just holding me hostage here.”