Serbia's Foreign Ministry said its representative verbally protested with the Australian ambassador in Belgrade, Daniel Emery, over "the inappropriate treatment that the best tennis player in the world and Serbia's citizen, Novak Djokovic, was exposed to in Melbourne.
The Ministry’s statement added Serbia did not want to influence the upcoming decision of the Australian judiciary in any way. But, it said, it „expected the executive authorities of that country, in the spirit of good bilateral relations between Serbia and Australia, in line with their competencies, to allow Djokovic to spend Orthodox Christmas in better accommodation.“
In the meantime, the Daily Mail published an explosive email sent by Australia’s federal health minister warning Tennis Australia that a previous COVID infection would not see players granted a vaccine exemption.
The paper said that oversight was believed to have locked Djokovic in a bitter legal dispute.
„Now the letter sent by Greg Hunt to Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley at the end of November has emerged, showing the health minister warned Australian Open officials that a recent infection would not grant players an exemption,“ the Daily Mail wrote.
However, Serbia’s Ministry statement has said that the public in Serbia has a strong impression that Djokovic is a victim of the political game and lured to travel to Australia to be humiliated.
Some commentators suggest that the Australian Prime Minister’s rating ahead of the May elections was not as good as he wanted and that he needed to show a firm attitude regarding the vaccination in the city, which had seen one of the most extended lockdowns in the world.
Also, Reuters has reported that three other players were let into Australia on the same medical exemption. The agency did not name them.
In the meantime, Djokovic erased Australian Open from his 2022 official calendar.