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31 March, 2023
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Novak vs Australia not over yet with star in talks to sue government for $6 million

Amount includes the almost $4 million in prize money he expected to collect by winning the Australian Open for the 10th time

Source: Fox Sports AU

Novak Djokovic is reportedly in talks with lawyers about suing the Australian government for millions of dollars on grounds of “ill-treatment”.

Djokovic was deported on the eve of the Australian Open following a week-long visa battle with the federal government.

He spent several nights detained in an infamous Melbourne refugee hotel before getting booted from the country last Sunday.

Djokovic is now weighing up whether to sue for more than $6 million - a figure that includes the almost $4 million in prize money he expected to collect by winning the Australian Open for the 10th time, according to a UK report.

“It’s well known that Novak and his family feel he was poorly treated in the quarantine hotel in Melbourne,” a source close to his agent Edoardo Artladi said in the report.

“His mother revealed how it was full of fleas and maggots. He was kept a virtual prisoner.” 

Djokovic could also be banned from locker rooms around the world at the few tournaments he’s still allowed to enter if he remains unvaccinated.

An email sent to players participating at lower-tier events in Italy reportedly has detailed new restrictions placed on players who remain unjabbed.

At Challenger events in Europe, unvaccinated players are allowed to compete but they won’t be allowed to use any tournament facilities.

They must also return a negative Covid test every 48 hours.

There is widespread expectation that the new rules will be brought in for all tournaments on the professional tour, according to The Daily Mail.

“(Players) will not be allowed to use any tournament facilities (locker rooms, gym, on-site cafes, etc), restaurants or hotels,” the leaked email reads.

“Unvaccinated PSTs (Player Support Teams) will be permitted on-site only if they are a coach. Please note partners or family members will not be allowed to enter the tournament site.”

The rules mean a player like Djokovic could only enter a tournament site to use the actual courts and nothing else.

The development comes just one day after two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka threw her support behind a vaccine mandate.

The veteran Azarenka is a long-time member of the powerful WTA Players’ Council, which is working through the challenges posed by Covid.

Those were laid bare by the chaos and confusion that engulfed vaccine-sceptic Djokovic, who was deported on the eve of the Australian Open.

Speaking in Melbourne, Azarenka admitted it could be legally challenging to enforce but she believes it would be “helpful for everybody” if the WTA Tour considered a no-jab, no-play policy.

“Well, from my standpoint it’s been very clear. I believe in science. I believe in getting vaccinated, that’s what I did for myself,” the 32-year-old Belarusian said.

“If you ask me just for my opinion if that should be the case, I think it would just be helpful for everybody in the world, especially when we are travelling internationally.”

But the former world number one acknowledged that forcing people to be jabbed could prove problematic.

“Some countries will not allow mandates. I think to impose something legally on the WTA Tour can be a challenge, I think that’s something that we are facing,” she said.

Cyprus  |  Serbia  |  Australia  |  unvaccinated

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