Novak Djokovic has been ruthlessly mocked online after his visa to enter Australia was sensationally denied.
The world No.1 arrived at Melbourne Airport late on Wednesday night to defend his crown in the Australian Open but instead was kept overnight under police guard and questioned by border officials.
The tennis star had reportedly applied for a visa which does not allow for medical exemptions for the unvaccinated. Djokovic has not revealed his vaccination status.
With Djokovic now packing his bags to head back home, social media users relished the opportunity to poke fun at the Serbian star.
Novak Djokovic has been ruthlessly mocked online after his visa to enter Australia was sensationally denied
One person joked this is how Djokovic’s exemption form would have looked
Some joked that Roger Federer was behind the visa mishap
One popular meme circulating on Twitter was in reference to the Tom Hanks film The Terminal, which is based on Iranian refugee Mehran Karimi Nasseri who was forced to live inside Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport until his identity was confirmed
Another shared a meme pretending the tennis star had flown himself out of Melbourne
One popular meme circulating on Twitter was in reference to the Tom Hanks film The Terminal, which is based on Iranian refugee Mehran Karimi Nasseri who was forced to live inside Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport until his identity was confirmed.
Others joked that fellow tennis champion Roger Federer was behind the visa mishap, sharing a photo of the athlete edited into a border official uniform.
Djokovic was moved to a hotel in Carlton in Melbourne’s inner-city under police guard on Thursday morning as authorities work to arrange a deportation flight back to Serbia.
He is believed to have been issued an exemption on the grounds that he was infected with coronavirus in the past six months.
The satirical Betoota Advocate couldn’t resist putting their own spin on the saga
One person compared Djokovic’s exemption document to the passport of Mr Bean
Others pretended fellow tennis stars Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal would be pleased about the decision
Djokovic starring on the Australian series Border Security was another popular joke poking fun at the tennis star
One person compared Djokovic’s visa application to the fake ID of Superbad character ‘McLovin’
Aussies relished the chance to poke fun at the world No.1
However, though this may satisfy his entry into the tournament and Victoria, the federal government controls the international border and his exemption appears to not hold up under federal rules.
Health Minister Greg Hunt on Thursday morning said the federal government was not involved in the decision to approve Djokovic’s medical exemption.
The world No.1 and prominent Covid vaccine sceptic now faces a difficult legal fight to stay in the country and keep his Australian Open title fight alive.
Djokovic’s lawyers are gearing up to fight the visa cancellation in court, though it is not clear if the star player will stay in Australia during the case.
Tennis fans around the world have mocked the tennis champion
Djokovic has not revealed his vaccination status but has been open about opposing vaccine mandates
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Djokovic’s visa had been cancelled on Thursday morning.
‘Mr Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled,’ Mr Morrison wrote on Twitter.
‘Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules.
‘Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from Covid, we are continuing to be vigilant.’
After touching down in Australia at about 11pm on Wednesday, Djokovic was unable to go through passport control and was grilled by border officials until 5am.
His father Srdjan Djokovic erupted at the decision to keep him at the airport overnight, threatening that protesters would gather on the streets of Serbia.
‘Novak is currently in a room which no one can enter,’ he told the B92 internet portal. ‘In front of the room are two policemen.’
‘I have no idea what’s going on, they’re holding my son captive for five hours,’ he said. ‘This is not a fight for the libertarian world, this is not just a fight for Novak, but a fight for the whole world!
‘If they don’t let him go in half an hour, we will gather on the street, this is a fight for everybody.’
It’s understood Djokovic is planning to fight the decision to have his visa cancelled