Novak Djokovic’s mother Dijana has lashed out at the treatment of the world No. 1 ahead of his appeal to enter Australia.
The nine-time Australian Open winner travelled to Melbourne after being granted a medical exemption to play in the Australian Open, however border officials rejected his visa on Wednesday.
The Serb is now stuck in a Melbourne detention hotel as his legal team seeks to overturn the decision - with a hearing set for 10:00 am local time on Monday. He has, though, been told he is free to leave the country.
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And members of his family - mother Dijana, brother Djordje and father Srdjan - addressed a crowd in Belgrade on the fourth straight day of protests at the decision to deny him entry to the country.
His father Srdjan has previously accused Australian authorities of holding the 20-time Grand Slam champion "captive", and his mother Dijana doubled down on those comments, saying:
I am telling you what he (Novak) told me, he is not kept in human conditions.
"Even in a real prison, prisoners get three meals a day, and they are also let out for a walk, and he (Novak) can't even do that. He is just staring at some wall.
“There is no real window, to look outside at the park, he can only see the wall. There is no possibility for him to have any physical exercise or training. The only thing he can do is stay in bed and watch what we are doing here, how we are fighting for him, and we hope that we will succeed," she added.
His brother Djordje said on Sunday that the world needed to hear the truth of the case.
"It is a huge day today,” said Djordje Djokovic.
"It's the day we will see the judge and it's the day when we will finally get justice, and also hear the truth. The whole world needs to hear the truth. We need to know what happened
Finally, we hope that the court is not biased, that they will reach the right verdict, and that Novak will come out of this as a winner, as a free man, (which is) what he is.
Australian Open organisers had previously confirmed Djokovic's medical exemption was granted following a "rigorous review process" involving two separate independent panels of medical experts.
But after Australian Border Force declined the world No. 1 entry to the country, the Serbian superstar was moved to the Park Hotel ahead of his appeal.
Should Djokovic be denied entry, it would prevent him moving ahead of the men's record haul of 20 Grand Slam titles he holds alongside Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer.
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