Srdjan Djokovic, who is the father of Novak Djokovic, is speaking out after his son was detained at the board of Australia and denied entry ahead of the Australian Open.
20-time major tennis champion Novak Djokovic, who is ranked number one in the world, has declined to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
34-year-old Djokovic failed to show his papers proving the new drug was injected into his arm. He also failed to receive a COVID-19 vaccine exemption.
Srdjan said his son is a symbol of the “free world” and that the Australian authorities were “mistreating” him because he’s a Serb.
“Shame on them, the entire freedom-loving world should rise together with Serbia,” he continued.
“They crucified Jesus, and now they are trying to crucify Novak the same way and force him on his knees,” he added.
Djokovic has an estimated net worth of $220 million as well as his own personal doctor, Igor Cetojevic.
Dr. Cetojevic ironically first saw Djokovic at the 2010 Australian Open, where Djokovic is currently being denied entry for health purposes.
Djokovic says he follows a strict, clean health protocol and diet that incorporates biofeedback and quantum physics.
His diet avoids gluten, sugar and dairy. Djokovic says this provides him significant relief.
More from ESPN:
With his visa canceled by Australian Border Force officials who rejected his evidence to support a medical exemption from the country’s strict COVID-19 vaccination rules, Djokovic had to trade the practice courts for the law courts on Thursday.
Djokovic, 34, has not disclosed whether he is vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly adjourned Djokovic’s case until Monday because of a delay in receiving the application for a review of the visa decisions and the temporary ban on his deportation. A lawyer for the government agreed that Djokovic should not be deported before the next hearing.
Djokovic’s family said he was the victim of a “political agenda.”
“They’re keeping him in captivity. They’re stomping all over Novak to stomp all over Serbia and Serbian people,” Djokovic’s father Srdjan told reporters in Belgrade on Thursday.
Djokovic’s trip was contentious before he landed, when it emerged that the conservative federal government and the left-leaning state government of Victoria had differing views about what constituted acceptable grounds for an exemption to Australia’s vaccination policy for visitors.
After announcing on social media Tuesday that he had “exemption permission,” Djokovic landed in Melbourne late Wednesday thinking he had Victoria state approval that would shield him from the regulations requiring all players, fans and staff to be fully vaccinated to attend the Australian Open, which starts on Jan. 17.
That would have been OK to enter the tournament, but apparently not the country.