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- Serbian tennis player
Court documents have revealed the arduous interrogation Novak Djokovic was under upon arriving in Australia before his visa was denied and he ended up in a Carlton hotel waiting for a hearing.
Djokovic arrived in Australia after a 14-hour flight from Dubai on Thursday.
The 34-year-old was under the impression he had been granted a medical exemption from Covid-19 vaccination requirements to compete in the year's first major.
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But, the World No.1 was detained and subsequently interrogated about his arrival.
Court documents by his lawyers, released on Saturday, reveal Djokovic's interview started at 12:21am.
He was interviewed for 30 minutes, before a break.
Djokovic was told he would be issued a notice on his visa at 3:55am, which wasn't official until 4:11am.
At this time, Djokovic asked the interviewer if it could wait so he could contact Tennis Australia over the ordeal to 'figure this out', according to the court documents.
At 5:20am, the delegate confirmed Djokovic had asked for time to rest and replied: “That’s absolutely fine, I have spoken with my supervisors and they’re more than happy to allow you have to rest (sic).”
In this period, the legal documents claim Djokovic told supervisors that had approached him that he was struggling to get onto his legal team because they were sleeping and that he needed advice.
At 5:30am he was taken to a bed that had been prepared for him.
Djokovic claimed he was woken at around 6am, which is when delegates wanted a response from Djokovic on whether he accepted the decision to have his visa revoked.
The World No.1 was confused and asked to be given till 8:30am.
After a further interview, Djokovic claimed he relented after feeling: “[they were] going to cancel [his] visa, it’s obvious”.
At 7.42am, Djokovic has been informed of the purported decision.
Djokovic was said to have expressed 'shock' and 'confusion' during the ordeal.
Novak Djokovic's surprise Covid-19 claim
As the World No.1 remained in immigration detention, the Federal Court released an online file outlining the details of his legal battle to remain in Australia.
"Mr Djokovic had received, on 30 December 2021, a letter from the Chief Medical Officer of Tennis Australia recording that he had been provided with a 'medical exemption from COVID vaccination' on the ground that he had recently recovered from Covid," the documents read.
"The date of the first positive COVID PCR test was recorded on 16 December 2021."
The papers went on to outline that Djokovic had no recent fever or respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 a fortnight after his diagnosis.
One of the documents outlined an interview between Djokovic and the Australia Border Force.
A partial transcript of that interview included "you have stated you are not vaccinated against COVID-19".
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