Novak Djokovic, the number one men’s tennis star, is currently at the centre of a diplomatic storm over his Covid vaccination status.
The tennis player’s hopes of defending his mens singles title at the Australian Open 2022 look to be derailed by questions over if and why Djokovic isn’t vaccinated, as the Australian Government cancelled Djokovic’s visa for a second time on Friday (January 14).
Djokovic is currently quarantining in Melbourne after being informed by the Australian Border Force and government that his claims of holding a certified vaccine exemption would not allow him to evade the country’s strict Covid entry requirements.
Plans to initially allow the player to be exempt from two weeks of quarantine for unvaccinated foreign visitors to the country in order to play at the Australian tennis tournament this January sparked a huge backlash among citizens.
Australians have been kept in strict lockdowns over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, with many angered by the possibility of Djokovic being allowed to enter the country if unvaccinated.
But has Djokovic been vaccinated?
As Djokovic and fans await the verdict on whether he will be allowed to play at the Australian Open this year, here’s what caused the row over his vaccination status, the tennis star’s net worth and where he is from.
Where is Novak Djokovic from?
34-year-old Novak Djokovic is a Serbian national.
Born in Belgrade in 1987, Djokovic was born to a Serbian father and Croatian mother, and showed promise as a talented tennis player from an early age.
Djokovic’s parents sent their son to a number of tennis camps in Serbia and abroad as a child, where Novak flourished and laid the groundwork for his record-breaking tennis career.
In 2011, at the age of 24, Djokovic was first ranked world number one by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) – a title which he holds currently.
As of 2022, the world number one male tennis player has claimed 86 ATP singles titles and holds a joint record with fellow tennis stars Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 grand slam singles titles.
What is Djokovic’s net worth?
Having won a plethora of singles, masters and grand slam titles in his career to date, it is estimated that Djokovic’s net worth is approximately $220 million (£162m).
According to Forbes, the fact that some $153 million of this amount stems from his tennis wins alone makes him one of the highest earning athletes in the world.
Djokovic also reaps considerable rewards from his lucrative sponsorships.
In 2021, the tennis pro’s sponsorship deal with Lacoste – seeing Djokovic take home more than nine million dollars a year in earnings for donning Lacoste kit at his games – was extended until 2025.
He is also sponsored by tennis racket manufacturer Head, sportswear and equipment brand ASICS and more.
Is Novak Djokovic vaccinated?
Australia cancelled the world number one tennis player’s visa application and ordered the deportation of Novak Djokovic as he fell foul of Australia’s Covid entry requirements.
According to Australia’s current coronavirus entry rules, all foreign visitors must be double-vaccinated or quarantine for a 14-day period.
Djokovic, who has not publicly confirmed whether he has been vaccinated but expressed opposition to Covid vaccines last year, was refused entry into the country after being held by Australian Border Forces in Melbourne.
The tennis player claimed that he had received a medical exemption from Covid-19 vaccination rules to defend his men's singles title at the tournament and this was confirmed by Australian Open organiser, Tennis Australia.
Djokovic’s vaccine exemption certificate was likewise endorsed by the Victoria State Government.
But the Australian Border Force, and later Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, instead argued that the Serbian tennis star had failed to prove he was double vaccinated or had a legitimate exemption and cancelled his visa.
Documents revealed Djokovic tested positive in Serbia on December 16 but he was photographed at events on the following two days and issued a statement earlier this week admitting he took part in an interview with French newspaper L'Equipe at his tennis centre in Belgrade despite knowing he had the virus.
He also admitted his declaration form falsely claimed he had not travelled in the 14 days prior to his trip to Australia, which he attributed to a mistake from his agent.
The tennis pro has since been able to appeal the initial verdict at the Federal Court of Australia, which overturned the government's decision on whether Djokovic can appear at the Australian Open 2022 when it begins on Monday January 17.
But on Friday (January 14), Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has used his powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa on "health and good order grounds".
Unless Djokovic manages to overturn this decision with a further legal challenge, his chances of competing to win a record-breaking 10th mens singles title and 21st Grand Slam at this year's Australian tennis tournament will vanish and he will be deported.
Additional reporting by PA Sport Staff