Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic Reuters

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic has been denied entry into Australia after initially being granted a medical exemption for the country's COVID-19 vaccination requirements so that he could play in the Australian Open, Reuters reports.

Djokovic, who ranks number one in the world, had been left stranded at Melbourne's Tullamanrien airport overnight before being issued a letter by the Australian government saying his visa had been denied and he would be deported, a source close to the tournament told Reuters.

The source added the tennis star was filing an injunction to prevent his deportation.

Djokovic had repeatedly refused to say whether he has been vaccinated against coronavirus, but confirmed on Tuesday he had received an exemption to allow him to compete in the Australian Open.

According to Sky News, he had been denied entry despite the exemption as his team had applied for a visa that does not allow for medical exemptions for being unvaccinated.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic earlier on Wednesday blasted Australia for the "maltreatment" of Djokovic with the 34-year-old having been reportedly kept alone under guard in a room at Melbourne Airport. He had also initially had his phone taken off him, reported The Telegraph.

Vucic said on Instagram he spoke with Djokovic over the phone and told him that "the whole of Serbia is with him and that our authorities are undertaking all measures in order that maltreatment of the world's best tennis player ends as soon as possible".

"In line with all standards of international public law, Serbia will fight for Novak Djokovic, justice and truth."

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