Novak Djokovic has been seen returning to immigration detention after his visa was again cancelled, as top players took swipes at the unvaccinated champion.
Djokovic was spotted being driven inside the Park Hotel compound at Carlton in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon, where he must remain until his Federal Court appeal is heard on Monday morning.
On Saturday he spoke with immigration officials at an undisclosed location at 8am. Border authorities then detained Djokovic following a court-ordered arrangement.
Djokovic’s lawyers then made their submissions during the online Federal Court hearing presided by Judge David O’Callaghan at his solicitors’ offices at 10.15am.
The Serbian superstar remains the focus of world attention and a magnet for fiery debates about health, science, politics and immigration.
Djokovic was driven inside the Park Hotel compound at Carlton in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon, where he must remain until his Federal Court appeal is heard on Monday morning
Media and protesters gathered outside the notorious detention centre hotel where the unvaccinated Serbian star is housed
Anti-vax supporters and anti-immigration detention protesters assembled at Rod Laver Arena and outside the notorious detention centre where some asylum seekers have been housed for years.
At the tennis stadium 200 anti-vaccine protesters chanted ‘free Novak’ and ‘let him play’ as well as various slogans opposed to vaccines and mask mandates.
Djokovic was seen arriving in the back of a car wearing a green tracksuit and white facemask.
As the Australian Open top seed went back into detention, the rival racing to claim a record 21 Grand Slam titles, Spaniard Rafael Nadal, admitted his annoyance at the focus on the Serb superstar.
Young US Open champion, Emma Raducanu said the scandal had become a distraction
Novak’s big rival Rafa Nadal said no-one is bigger than the Australian Open
‘Honestly I’m a little bit tired of the situation because I just believe that it’s important to talk about our sport, about tennis,’ Nadal said.
‘There is no one player in history that is more important than an event, no? [It] will be a great Australian Open with or without him.’
Meanwhile brilliant young US Open champion, Emma Raducanu spoke out saying the scandal was a distraction.
‘I feel it has taken away a little bit from the great tennis that’s been happening over this summer in Australia… like in that way it has been a distraction.’
She believed people were missing the performances of other stars worthy of attenton, such as returning Brit Andy Murray.
The drama around the Novak Djokovic affair is set to be captured in a docuseries that will be a tennis version of Drive To Survive.
Sportsmail understands that a crew is already in Australia filming what has been the most explosive start to a tennis season in recent years, thanks to the fiasco surrounding the world No 1.
The sport’s usually disjointed governing stakeholders have united to support and approve the new project, that will eventually air on Netflix.