Djokovic’s father stays on offensive, says case ‘is closed’

Jan 11, 2022, 12:47 AM | Updated: 2:48 pm
Serbia's Novak Djokovic sits on a bench as he trains on a tennis court in Marbella, Spain, on Jan. ...

Serbia's Novak Djokovic sits on a bench as he trains on a tennis court in Marbella, Spain, on Jan. 2, 2022. Djokovic held a practice session on Tuesday, Jan. 11, a day after he left immigration detention, focusing on defending his Australian Open. There were also new questions raised Tuesday over an immigration form, on which he said he had not traveled in the 14 days before his flight to Australia. The Monte Carlo-based athlete was seen in Spain and Serbia in that two-week period. (KMJ/GTRES via AP)


BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Though Novak Djokovic still faces the prospect of deportation from Australia, his father is bolstering public opinion at home in Serbia that the case “is closed.”

“The whole situation regarding Novak Djokovic is closed by the verdict of the Australian court,” Srdjan Djokovic told Bosnian Serb TV station RTRS on Tuesday.

Serbs have rallied around their sports idol, who hopes to defend his title at the Australian Open this month — if he can manage to stay in the country.

The top-ranked Djokovic trained at Melbourne Park, where the tournament is held, within hours of winning a legal battle that allowed him to stay for now. But he faces the possibility of deportation because he’s not vaccinated against COVID-19.

That hasn’t stopped Srdjan Djokovic from making his case.

“An Australian court and an independent judge, after seven hours of examining all the facts, determined that there are no ambiguities and that Novak is free to enter Australia and do his job,” he said.

At issue is whether the nine-time Australian Open champion has a valid exemption to rules requiring vaccination to enter Australia since he recently recovered from COVID-19. A judge ruled Monday he could stay, but the immigration minister could still send him home.

The most recent question in the Djokovic saga is over an immigration form on which he said he had not traveled in the 14 days before his flight to Australia.

Yet he was filmed playing tennis in the street in front of his apartment in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, on Dec. 25, and later training in Spain — all within the 14-day window.

Questions also remain about Djokovic’s recent positive coronavirus test. He had a PCR test on Dec. 16 and received his positive result that night.

Photographs and videos since then have shown a maskless Djokovic attending public events, including a junior tennis prize ceremony in Belgrade after his positive test. Serbia’s COVID-19 protocols should have required him to isolate for 11 days.

It remains unclear if Serbia’s government will punish Djokovic for the apparent breach of mandatory self-isolation rules. The Balkan country faces its biggest coronavirus surge since the start of the pandemic.

The drama has polarized opinions and elicited strong support for the 20-time Grand Slam winner in his native Serbia.


More AP tennis: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

FCS passing leader DeMorat throws for 4 TDs in Fordham’s win

NEW YORK (AP) — Tim DeMorat, the FCS passing leader, threw for four touchdowns and ran for another to lead Fordham to a 59-38 victory over Georgetown on Saturday. DeMorat came in as the leader in touchdowns (22) and yards (1,805) and added to those totals with his four scoring tosses and 348 yards after […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Baker throws 3 TDs, Morgan St. tops DIII Virginia Lynchburg

BALTIMORE (AP) — Carson Baker threw for three touchdowns and Morgan State eased by Division III Virginia Lynchburg 44-10 on Saturday. Morgan State scored 37 unanswered points in the first half, including a safety and a fumble return for a touchdown. The Bears also had a one-play drive during the scoring run when Baker connected […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Cramer throws 2 TDs, Morehead State tops Presbyterian 14-10

MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — Grady Kramer threw two touchdown passes and the Morehead State defense stiffened the final two times it was on the field and the Eagles held on for a 14-10 win over Presbyterian in the Pioneer Football League opener on Saturday. Kramer, who was 19 of 41 for 180 yards and an […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Memphis roars late, beats Temple 24-3 to win fourth straight

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Brandon Thomas ran for two touchdowns and Memphis came alive late, scoring all of its points in the final 17 minutes to beat Temple 24-3 on Saturday. Memphis has won four straight after a season-opening loss at Mississippi State. The Tigers (4-1, 2-0 American) staged a goal-line stand midway through the […]
14 hours ago
Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani smiles while at third base during the first inni...
Associated Press

Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani has agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency. The Angels announced the deal Saturday, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP. Ohtani’s deal is fully […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Adebayo goes for 132 as St. Thomas runs to win over Marist

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) — Hope Adebayo rushed for 132 yards and scored one of St. Thomas of Minnesota’s three rushing touchdowns in a 38-24 victory over Marist on Saturday. St. Thomas (3-1) won its Pioneer League opener, churning out 242 yards on the ground to go with Cade Sexauer’s 218 yards passing with two touchdowns. […]
14 hours ago
Djokovic’s father stays on offensive, says case ‘is closed’