Huge blow for Djokovic as Aussie open slapped with devastating crowd cap

Novak Djokovic: Carole Malone slams statement on Covid

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The mega event which is scheduled to take place in Melbourne between January 17 and 30 has been downsized to “ensure health and safety of the fans”, according to the local Victorian government. Ticket sales will be restricted to 50 percent of the sessions which have already not been sold yet.

The move comes as a huge disappointment for several fans who have been waiting to witness the grand tournament physically.

Mr Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, had his visa revoked on 6 January shortly after arriving in Australia amid questions over the vaccine exemption that would have permitted him to enter.

The Belgrade-born tennis player later acknowledged that he knew he had tested positive when he attended a newspaper interview and photoshoot in the Serbian capital on 18 December, saying in a statement on social media he had made an “error of judgment”.

However, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has suggested a simple yet crucial solution to Novak Djokovic’s ongoing problem.

The 49-year-old Australian politician said at a press conference on Thursday while pinning down the responsibility on the federal government: “Just get vaccinated.

“That’s what I’ve done, that’s what my kids have done.

“That’s what … 93 percent of our community has done.

“We’ve had to make some difficult decisions along the way to get to those numbers.”

Mr Andrews added: “Just like the safety of our community is bigger than any one person.

Djokovic was freed from an immigration detention hotel in Melbourne on Monday after a judge ruled his treatment was unreasonable.

The unvaccinated star is relying on a recent previous coronavirus infection for an exemption allowing him to play.

The player also blamed “human error” by his support team for a mistake in his immigration paperwork, saying they had failed to declare that he had travelled outside Serbia – to Spain – in the two-week period before entering Australia.

In an affidavit to the court, Djokovic said he was “tested and diagnosed” as having contracted Covid on 16 December.

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In his statement on Wednesday, however, he said was not notified of his positive status until the following day.

He said he was not aware he had tested positive until after a tennis event he attended in Belgrade on 17 December to present awards to children, but admitted he was aware of his status when he went to his tennis centre on 18 December for an interview and photoshoot for L’Equipe.

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