Novak Djokovic: Remarkable details emerge of detention hotel reportedly housing tennis star


Novak Djokovic found himself on front and back pages around the world after his Australian visa was cancelled on Wednesday.

The tennis star was expected to compete at the Australian Open having explained that he had attained the exemption necessary for players and staff who are not vaccinated against COVID-19.

However, it is clear that Djokovic did not satisfy the necessary requirements to gain access to Australia despite having gotten as far as flying out to Melbourne.

Djokovic has Australian visa cancelled

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison even confirmed the news himself by tweeting: “Mr Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders.

“No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant.”

The news has spread like wildfire across the globe with tennis fans now waiting in anticipation as Djokovic’s team is expected to lodge an appeal against what would surely mean deportation.


Djokovic taken to government detention hotel

The BBC have confirmed that Djokovic was held at the airport for several hours before border officials announced the nine-time Australian Open winner had not met the entry requirements. 

The report goes on to explain that the Serbian was then taken to a government detention hotel and that a court will decide upon the deportation ruling on Monday.

So, there is still some time to wait before Djokovic’s fate is confirmed and what exactly is meant by a ‘detention hotel’ that the 34-year-old will be presumably be spending the next few days of his life at?


Reported details of Djokovic’s hotel

Well, it’s an understandable question that has a rather eye-opening answer with ABC reporter Tracey Holmes elucidating the situation during an appearance on BBC Breakfast on Thursday.

“The services and what Novak Djokovic could expect are pretty crude,” Holmes explained. “So, the hotel has darkened windows, so that nobody in the outside can see in.

“He’ll have very limited access, even to his legal team and it is doubtful what sort of communication he may have to his family and friends back in Serbia.

“He’ll be watched 24/7. That includes any time he needs to use the bathroom. It is a complete detention facility.”

The Park Hotel, Melbourne

It’s certainly a remarkable description for those unfamiliar with Australia’s detention hotels and it’s fair to say that the conditions will be rather different to what Djokovic is familiar with on tour.

In fact, according to Reuters, the Park Hotel has housed government detainees since December 2020 with many having stayed there for ‘years’ while seeking a visa to remain in Australia.

It’s said that more than two dozen detainees are in the facility presently and that after a fire last December, there were reports of residents claiming there were maggots and mould in their food.

It’s also reportedly that there was a COVID-19 outbreak amongst the various asylum seekers and refugees staying there in October.

Support for Djokovic remains

Meanwhile, the BBC claim that Djokovic has supporters outside of the hotel in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton with some fans upholding that the tennis star’s treatment is an injustice.

A Serbian woman, identified only as Jelena, is quoted as saying: “It’s an international scandal and the world is watching.”

Nevertheless, regardless of where people stand on what is fast turning into an international news story, it now looks unlikely that there will be any substantial updates until the court date on Monday.



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