High-profile American radio host Howard Stern has labelled Novak Djokovic an 'a**hole' and suggested tennis officials should 'throw him out' of the sport.
Djokovic's arrival in Melbourne ahead of the upcoming Australian Open has become an international news story after he was detained by immigration officials after landing last week.
The World No.1 had initially claimed he had been given 'exemption permission' to travel and play, but a massive controversy has since unfolded in which he stands accused of misleading immigration authorities.
A successful injunction against his deportation on Monday gave Djokovic some hope of competing at Melbourne Park, however questions over his movements after testing positive to Covid-19 on December 19 and his failure to disclose his travel to Spain within two weeks of his flight to Melbourne loom large.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is expected to make a decision on whether he will use is personal discretionary powers to deport the Serbian star later on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the saga has seen the 34-year-old Djokovic widely criticised within the tennis world, and now the entertainment world is beginning to take notice.
Djokovic's ongoing refusal to be vaccinated, having confirmed he was not vaccinated to Australian border officials, left Stern feeling not sympathetic to the Serb's plight.
“What a f***ing a***hole,” Stern fumed on his SiriusXM show.
“The first I’ve heard of this guy is that he doesn’t want to get his vaccine. They should throw him ... out of tennis. That’s it. Goodbye.”
Howard Stern called Novak Djokovic “selfish” for refusing the coronavirus vaccine. pic.twitter.com/oSZbL7awxq
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) January 12, 2022
Stern was incensed at the possibility Djokovic may have been dishonest about whether or not he'd tested positive for Covid-19.
Referencing Djokovic's past anti-vaccination viewpoints, Stern dismissed him as a 'dummy' and said the world No.1 had no right to talk about anything other than tennis.
"He doesn’t care about anyone else," Stern said.
“Stay away from other people. That’s like saying smoking is a private decision. Well, that’s true. But don’t smoke in my face.
“What a dummy. Just a big dumb tennis player.
“If you wanna talk tennis, I’ll talk to you. Other than that you should shut your mouth.”
Australian Open players frustrated by ongoing Djokovic saga
Djokovic received an exemption to bypass hotel quarantine to defend his Australian Open crown on the basis he had tested positive to COVID-19 on December 16.
But photos have since emerged of the Serb, who admitted to immigration authorities that he wasn't vaccinated, attending various functions after he claimed to have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Concerns have also been raised that the Monte Carlo-based world No.1 may have misled Australian Border Force officials by not declaring he was in Serbia and Spain in the 14 days before his arrival in Australia.
Murray, who has lost to the 34-year-old in four Australian Open finals, says it's crucial that Djokovic opens up about his movements in the days following his positive diagnosis.
"It's a positive that he's not in detention anymore. He won in court so that's a positive thing for him," Murray said when asked by AAP on Tuesday night.
"There are still a few questions that need to be answered about the isolation and stuff, which I'm sure we'll hear from him in the next few days.
"I am obviously here to try and play and win tournaments. It's the first match I've won here (in Australia) in over three years.
"This is where situations like this are frustrating for players because I want to come off and talk about my tennis and not talk about situations like that.
"I'm hoping we can move on from it now. It looks like he's going to be able to play and compete in the Australian Open.
"We do want the best players there but I think there are a few questions to be answered. Until that happens, it's tough to give a definitive opinion.
"I'm sure he will. It's up to the press to ask about that and for Novak to clarify. Let's wait to see what he says about that."
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