'Absolute joke': Confusion reigns over Novak Djokovic 'withdrawal'

Novak Djokovic (pictured) reacting to fans from his quarantine balcony in Adelaide.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) has stunned fans and withdrawn from the exhibition tournament in Adelaide only hours after exiting quarantine. (Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic dropped a bombshell on Tennis Australia organisers after withdrawing from his exhibition match only hours after leaving quarantine, only to stun fans and reverse his decision.

Djokovic was part of the crew, alongside top stars such as Rafa Nadal and Serena Williams, who quarantined in Adelaide ahead of the Australian Open.

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Part of the reason was for the players to take part in an exhibition event called ‘A Day at the Drive’, despite outrage from other players in Melbourne that the Adelaide contingent were receiving preferential treatment.

Much to the dismay of some players, Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley confirmed the top stars in Adelaide were receiving preferential treatment for their role in the exhibition.

But only hours after being released from 14 days in quarantine, World No.1 Djokovic dropped a bombshell on the event organisers and withdrew from his clash citing blisters on his right hand.

Filip Krajinovic has replaced him against young Italian Jannick Sinner.

Fans shocked over Djokovic withdrawal

Djokovic’s late withdrawal shocked fans on social media and even had some fuming.

However, only moments later, Djokovic appeared on court and took part in the exhibition match.

Novak Djokovic walks barefoot in park

Only hours before withdrawing from the event, Djokovic was pictured walking barefoot in an Adelaide park.

"I want to thank again ... police and health department officials for making this day possible," Djokovic said at a brief media call before the Memorial Drive exhibition event.

"Conditions were great for us, considering the circumstances."

Djokovic immediately went for a stroll when released from hotel confines.

"A walk in the park, just putting bare feet on the ground," he said.

"Just doing something that I didn't have a chance to do. So just having space, that is what we all kind of missed."

with AAP

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