Smiling Djokovic spotted posing with fans as ace ponders next steps
Novak Djokovic has been seen happily posing for photographs as the Serbian ace continues to plan his next steps after being deported from Australia in his visa row.
Djokovic lost his last-ditch appeal to remain Down Under on Sunday when a panel of federal court judges ruled unanimously in favor of the decision by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke that the world number one should not be allowed to remain for fear of inciting ‘anti-vaccine’ sentiment.
That argument had been dismissed as “patently irrational” by lawyers for the tennis icon, although in defending the court’s ruling on Thursday, a statement said “there was no requirement upon the minister in exercising his powers… to afford Mr Djokovic natural justice.”
After Djokovic arrived back in Belgrade to a hero’s welcome on Monday, much has been made about where the 20-time Grand Slam champion will go from here – not least with concerns that the unvaccinated ace could be barred from the second major of the season at Roland-Garros.
In the meantime, Djokovic has been reported as making his way to Montenegro. A social media post showed the smiling star posing with fans, while a local radio station in Tivat shared footage of the tennis legend at the coastal resort, where he is said to be staying at the luxury Regent Hotel.
Djokovic is also said to have visited the Serbian Orthodox monastery at Ostrog, where he was pictured smiling on the steps.
Djokovic has spent time in Montenegro in the past, staying there as he prepared ahead of the Tokyo Olympics last summer.
The Grand Slam icon even had a new species of snail named after him last year when it was discovered at the Vrijesko Vrelo spring in Montenegro, “to acknowledge his inspiring enthusiasm and energy.”
Djokovic’s friendly demeanor with fans matches that which he showed in Dubai while transiting back to Serbia at the start of this week.
The nine-time Australian Open king was seen smiling and posing despite his near two-week battle to remain in Melbourne, where he had arrived with a vaccine medical exemption which had been granted by Tennis Australia and Victoria state authorities.
However, that was deemed insufficient by the federal authorities as Djokovic ended up losing his legal battle, in a row some argued was based on politics.
Reports this week have claimed Djokovic could sue the Australian government for more than $4 for ‘ill treatment’ – which would include the potential prize money he may have claimed by winning the Australian Open for a record-extending 10th time.