(Reuters) – World number one Novak Djokovic on Friday thanked people around the world for their support amid a visa row over COVID-19 vaccines that has seen him being detained at a Melbourne hotel ahead of this month’s Australian Open.
“Thank you to people around the world for your continuous support. I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated,” the Serbian wrote on Instagram.
Djokovic was granted a medical exemption from Australia’s strict COVID-19 vaccination requirement following a review by two independent panels prior to boarding his flight, but was denied entry upon landing in Melbourne late on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old is currently housed in a government detention hotel in the suburb of Carlton, 5 km (2 miles) north of Melbourne Park, after authorities cancelled his visa when he arrived in Australia.
The player’s lawyers launched an appeal seeking to overturn the federal government decision, with a court agreeing not to deport him before a full hearing scheduled for Monday.
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Alex Richardson)