ZB

Djokovic to sue Australian govt for $6M

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Thu, 20 Jan 2022, 5:37pm

Djokovic to sue Australian govt for $6M

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Thu, 20 Jan 2022, 5:37pm

Novak Djokovic is in talks with lawyers about suing the Australian government for $6 million over "ill treatment" during his last stay in Melbourne. 

The Serbian tennis star, 34, claimed he had a visa exemption but was deported before the Australian Open. 

Insiders say the damages figure includes the $4.35 million in prize money the World No . 1 expected to have won. 

A source close to his agent Edoardo Artladi said: "It's well known that Novak and his family feel he was poorly treated in the quarantine hotel in Melbourne. His mother revealed how it was full of fleas and maggots. He was kept a virtual prisoner." 

Lawyer Toma Fila added: "He was subjected to humiliating treatment. He should sue." 

The London-based law firm representing Djokovic told news.com.au it would not be adding further comment at this time. 

Federal Court Chief Justice James Allsop will publish today the reasons Djokovic was unsuccessful in his bid to have his visa reinstated. 

The three judges of the Federal Court's full bench unanimously ordered the world's best male tennis player to leave Australia on Sunday and to pay all of Federal Immigration Minister Alex Hawke's legal costs. 

Justice Allsop on Sunday agreed with Mr Hawke, who had cited "health" and "good order" grounds in revoking the tennis star's visa because Djokovic had not been vaccinated against Covid-19 and there was a fear he could incite anti-vaccination sentiment. 

Speaking on behalf of the full court less than 24 hours before the Australian Open gets underway, Chief Justice James Allsop handed down orders that saw Djokovic sent on a flight back home. 

Djokovic was automatically banned from Australia for three years following the decision but may be allowed back in if the government believes there are exceptional circumstances. 

On Tuesday evening, two days into the tournament, Tennis Australia finally addressed the situation. 

In a statement, the TA board said it "deeply regrets" the events that led the world's best male tennis player to travel to Australia under the impression he had a medical exemption that meant he did not need to be vaccinated against Covid-19. 

"The board and Member Associations commend the Tennis Australia CEO (Tiley) and the entire Tennis Australia team for their hard work and dedication to delivering a spectacular summer of tennis," the statement read.