Who said what? Key quotes from the Djokovic saga
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Melbourne (AFP) – The Australian government cancelled tennis superstar Novak Djokovic's visa for the second time on Friday, leaving his dreams of winning a 10th Australian Open title and a record 21st Grand Slam in serious peril.
Here are some key quotes from the ongoing saga:
"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." –- Djokovic's father Srdjan condemning his son's detention on January 6
"They detained him and even don't give him breakfast, he has only lunch and dinner. He does not have a normal window, he stares at a wall." –- Djokovic's mother Dijana describing her son's ordeal at a January 9 rally in Belgrade
A sympathetic judge
"What more could this man have done?" –- Federal Judge Anthony Kelly foreshadows his eventual decision to release Djokovic at a Monday hearing on the tennis star's visa situation
'I felt obliged'
"I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L'Equipe interview as I didn't want to let the journalist down... On reflection, this was an error of judgement." –- Novak Djokovic explaining his decision to be interviewed in person after testing positive for Covid-19 in an Instagram post on Wednesday
"The instructions were clear -- no questions about vaccination." -- French sports journalist Franck Ramella explaining his side of the interview the same day
Not for everyone
"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 on January 6
"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." -- Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to media on January 6
"You know, a lot of people don't like him, and they have their right to not like him. But what's he really done? They reckon he's arrogant because what, because he wins?" -- Djokovic fan Sash Aleksic defending the nine-time Australian Open champion at a protest outside the detention centre on January 6
'Rules are rules'
"Rules are rules." –- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressing the Djokovic visa situation at a January 6 press conference
"For sure he has been playing by his own rules." –- Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday
About that box
"My agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box." –- Djokovic explaining in a Wednesday statement why details of his pre-tournament travel history were missing
There's the rub
"I don't care how good a tennis player he is. If he's refusing to get vaccinated, he shouldn't be allowed in." -- former Australian Medical Association vice-president Stephen Parnis on January 8
"I am not vaccinated." -- Novak Djokovic to immigration officials upon entering Australia on January 6
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