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Novak Djokovic’s mum says he was ‘subjected to torture’


Tennis star Novak Djokovic has been “subjected to torture”, his mother says, describing his successful visa cancellation appeal as the greatest win of his career.

His brother Djordje Djokovic thanked Novak’s fans for their support and Judge Anthony Kelly for quashing the last-minute cancellation, revealing his brother had already returned to the practice court.

“Novak is an athlete. He’s a tennis player. He is the best tennis player of all time,” he said, according to a live translation of the press conference by the BBC.

“Everything he supports in his life is to live up to his principles and his ideals.

“He has been branded in different ways for many years. But he has always supported the freedom of choice, and that’s all. Nothing else.”

Djordje said his brother went to Australia to win another Australian Open and claim a record he had been chasing for “so many years”.

“Novak is free,” he said.

“A few moments ago he trained. He was on a tennis court.”

His mother, Dijana Djokovic, said her son fought against the government because he thought he had the right to be in Australia.

Dijana Djokovic, Srdjan Djokovic and Djordje Djokovic, the mother, father and brother of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, hold a press conference in Belgrade. (Getty)

“We’re here to celebrate the victory of our son, of our Novak who in his family learned not to put up with lies and cheating. He always fought for justice,” she said.

“He’s done nothing wrong. He hasn’t broken any of their laws, and he was subjected to torture to harassment.

“And we will hear more about what he had to go through.”

She described the court case as the “biggest win in his career”.

“It’s bigger than any of the grand slams he has won,” she said.

Djordje Djokovic ended the press conference suddenly when a reporter asked whether Novak was at an event on December 17, having tested positive to COVID-19 on December 16.

“Okay, so, this press conference is adjourned at the moment,” he said.

“Thank you for attention.”

Djokovic’s presence in Australia still uncertain

Judge Kelly ordered the world number one’s immediate release from immigration detention and quashed his visa cancellation, finding the actions of the Australian Border Force “unreasonable”.

Djokovic’s visa was sensationally cancelled at on Thursday morning, after he flew overnight from Europe having received a “medical exemption” from Tennis Australia to compete in the year’s first grand slam.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke. (Alex Ellinghausen)

Judge Kelly found the Serbian had been told he would have until 8.30am to respond to the proposed cancellation but was instead asked to comment at 6.14am before visa was cancelled at 7.42am.

“Had the applicant been allowed until 8:30am, he could have consulted others and made further submissions to the delegate about why his visa should not be cancelled,” Judge Kelly wrote, in his order.

Minister Karen Andrews lawyers then told the court Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke could still “consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation”.

In a statement issued to newsrooms on Monday night, Mr Hawke said he was “considering the matter and the process remains ongoing”.

“Following today’s Federal Circuit and Family Court determination on a procedural ground, it remains within Immigration Minister Hawke’s discretion to consider cancelling Mr Djokovic’s visa under his personal power of cancellation within section 133C(3) of the Migration Act,” he said.

Djokovic’s family watched the court proceedings from the middle of the night in Serbia, before holding a joint news conference about midnight 2pm (midnight AEDT).

Djokovic’s father previously said he was certain his son would not only win in the court but take out his 10th Australian Open title.



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