Novak Djokovic thanks fans as footage emerges of 'pepper spray' being used by police
'I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation'
Novak Djokovic has spoken out for the first time since he won his appeal against deportation from Australia, with footage also emerging of his fans being 'pepper sprayed' as they campaigned for his freedom.
The world number one was granted permission to compete at this year's Australian Open after he was initially denied entry to the country when his visa was revoked upon entry earlier this month.
The Serbian was forced to spend four nights in an immigration detention hotel in Melbourne before it was ruled on Monday that his visa cancellation order would be immediately overturned and that he would be allowed to leave immigration detention.
Djokovic has since taken to social media to thank his fans for 'standing with him', insisting that he still wants to defend his Australian Open title. Writing on Twitter, he said:
"I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened,I want to stay and try to compete at the Australian Open.
"I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans."
He added: "For now I cannot say more but THANK YOU all for standing with me through all this and encouraging me to stay strong".
I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened,I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen
I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans. 👇 pic.twitter.com/iJVbMfQ037
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 10, 2022
Fans surrounded vehicle carrying Novak Djokovic
As Djokovic exited immigration detention, chaos occurred in Melbourne as people waving Serbia flags were reportedly pepper sprayed by police as they mobbed a car said to be carrying the tennis star.
It is thought that Djokovic supporters had gathered outside the office of the 20-time Grand Slam winner’s lawyers on Monday, with a car leaving the building at 8.45pm local time.
Fans surrounded the vehicle and began to bang on the windows, while at least two people jumped on the roof of the car. Australian media reported that police pepper sprayed supporters as scenes began to turn chaotic.
During Djokovic's court hearing, government counsel Christopher Tran told the court that the minister for immigration, Alex Hawke - not the minister who made the original visa cancellation - would now consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation of the Serb's visa.
The court also released a transcript of Djokovic’s interview with Australian Border Force last week, during which the tennis star confirmed he has had Covid-19 twice and is not vaccinated.
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