Novak Djokovic affair -- who's saying what

Melbourne (AFP) – Who's saying what in the Novak Djokovic controversy:


"Rules are rules and there are no special cases."

-- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison after Djokovic had his entry visa cancelled.

"We are not calling for violence -- only for support."

-- Djokovic's father Srdjan at a rally in Belgrade. The crowd waved Serbian flags and homemade signs, including a banner that read: "They are afraid of the best, stop corona fascism".

"Jesus was crucified and endured many things but is still alive among us. Novak is also crucified... the best sportsman and man in the world. He will endure."

-- Srdjan Djokovic

"He made his own decisions, and everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences."

-- Rafael Nadal who like Djokovic is also a 20-time Grand Slam title winner

"We see him as a hero. He put Serbia back on the map, because Serbia was always portrayed, we were the aggressive ones, we were the attackers."

-- Djokovic fan Veronica Michich who was outside an immigration detention facility in Melbourne where the world number one was believed to be staying.

"What is not fair-play is the political witch hunt (being conducted against Novak), by everybody including the Australian Prime Minister pretending that the rules apply to all."

-- Serbia president Aleksandar Vucic

"If he has an exemption, well, he should be here. If something was wrong with the papers and they didn't let him in, well, that's what happens sometimes."

-- World number two Daniil Medvedev, the US Open champion, who was runner-up to Djokovic at the Australian Open last year.

"Nobody wants to be in that situation. But at same time, I can understand why Australian people obviously feel like they do. I think Melbourne had the longest lockdown in the world, so I can understand these people."

-- Italy's Matteo Berrettini, runner-up to Djokovic at Wimbledon in 2021.

"Djokovic is not a criminal, terrorist or illegal migrant, but was treated that way by the Australian authorities which causes an understandable indignation of his fans and citizens of Serbia."

-- Serbia foreign ministry statement

"You cannot make people love you and that's been the situation a little bit. He's a fine young sportsman with the right attitude and the right character, he just has a different view on life. He has a different view how he eats, how he drinks, how he sleeps. That's where you can't criticise him. Maybe that's the reason he's so successful, but he's not for everybody - I get it."

-- Djokovic's former coach and six-time Grand Slam title winner Boris Becker to the BBC.

"We shouldn't gather in the streets over an argument about a participant in a tennis tournament. The risk profile with this sort of stuff was zero if vaccinated. We all make our own choices. We also have our own consequences."

-- Former US Open champion and world number one Andy Roddick, an early career rival of Djokovic.