'What the f***': Uproar over shock detail in Novak Djokovic photo

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Novak Djokovic, pictured here walking onto the court before the Australian Open final.
Novak Djokovic walked onto the court without a mask before the Australian Open final. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic caused controversy before the Australian Open final even started on Sunday night.

Fans were left fuming when Djokovic was seen walked out onto Rod Laver Arena without a face mask.

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When fans were allowed back at Melbourne Park on Thursday following Victoria's five-day lockdown, a condition of entry was that a mask had to be worn at all times.

Players followed suit and were seen walking out onto court wearing their own masks before taking them off once their warmups began.

However Djokovic either forgot his or decided he didn't need it on Sunday.

Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic, pictured here before the Australian Open final.
Daniil Medvedev wore his mask, but Novak Djokovic didn't. Image: Getty

While Daniil Medvedev was seen wearing his mask, Djokovic went without.

Fans and pundits were less than impressed on social media, particularly considering Djokovic's dramas with COVID-19 last year.

"Every patron in the stadium must wear a mask in their seat," tweeted reporter Shane McInnes.   

"Medvedev walked onto the stadium wearing a mask. Novak- no mask.

"Small, but speaks volumes."

Fans were also seething that none of Djokovic's team seemed to be wearing their masks properly.

Djokovic fires back at critics after Australian Open triumph

Hitting back at his detractors and slamming the doubters, Djokovic says his ninth Australian Open triumph was among the most challenging of his grand slam career.

Djokovic thumped Medvedev 7-5 6-2 6-2 in Sunday night's final before taking aim at his critics.

The Serb was savaged pre-tournament for detailing a list of so-called quarantine demands for the 72 players holed up in hard lockdown, then accused of exaggerating an abdominal injury during his five-set third-round win over Taylor Fritz.

While admitting that the criticism had hurt him, Djokovic explained how he'd developed a thick skin to block it out.

"Emotionally (this) was one of hardest tournaments I had, to be honest, with quarantine and a lot of things happening in the media," the world No.1 told Nine.

"The letter that I wrote, ideas and recommendations that I got from players was misinterpreted as my request and list of demands.

"Then the next thing you know within a couple of days I'm persona non grata in this country.

"I got injured in the third round. It was a rollercoaster ride if I can define it in one word. 

"I think it makes it even sweeter for me."

with AAP

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