Novak Djokovic's father called the Serbian tennis star the "Spartacus of the new world" in a bizarre rant in which he also described him as a symbol for the poor and oppressed.
Speaking in the hours after his son was turned away by Australia's Border Force as he tried to enter the country for the Australian Open, Srdjan Djokovic launched a tirade in which he also said that Novak is a "leader of the libertarian world."
Djokovic had previously been granted a medical exemption from having a COVID-19 vaccine by the Australian Open, however an issue at the border saw him held for several hours, before being moved to a quarantine facility ahead of deportation.
As of Thursday, the 34-year-old is being kept at a hotel in Melbourne while his legal team fights his ordered deportation.
"Novak has become the symbol and a leader of the libertarian world, a world of poor and oppressed nations and people," Srdjan Djokovic told Russian media on Wednesday, according to The Guardian.
"They can incarcerate him tonight, shackle him tomorrow, but truth is like water, as it always finds its way. Novak is the Spartacus of the new world that doesn't tolerate injustice, colonialism and hypocrisy."
Spartacus was a Thracian gladiator who led a slave rebellion against the Roman Republic and has since served as a symbol for those revolting against oppressive rule.
"Novak has shown you can achieve anything if you have dreams, and he shares these dreams with billions of people who look up to him," added Srdjan.
On Wednesday, Srdjan Djokovic also claimed that his son was being held "captive" at Melbourne airport, and threatened to take to the streets in protest.
"If they don't let him go in half an hour, we will gather on the street this is a fight for everyone," he said.
Srdjan Djokovic isn't the only person to speak out against his son's denied entry to Australia. The star's former mentor Niki Pilic described the situation to Reuters on Thursday as a "disgrace."
"Politics have interfered with sports here as it so often does," said Pilic.
"The Australian Prime Minister is trying to please a part of the country's society and improve his poor political rating by saying 'Djokovic can't compete because I said that unvaccinated athletes will be banned from competing'.
"In my opinion it's politically motivated. To deny entry to the winner of nine Australian Open titles because of wrong paperwork, if the visa application was erroneous, is farcical."
Ossian Shine, Global Sports Editor for Reuters, tweeted on Wednesday to say that the visa Djokovic was using to enter Australia was the "same one" successfully used by "three other tennis players."
According to the Daily Express, however, errors in the supporting documents provided by the Serbian's team are believed to have resulted in his entry to the country being denied.
Srdjan Djokovic is a longstanding and outspoken advocate for his son. In the weeks leading up to the tournament he accused organizers of attempting to "blackmail" Novak into getting a COVID vaccine.
"Whether he will appear there depends on them how they will position themselves. He would want it with all his heart because he's an athlete, and we would love that too," Djokovic senior said when asked if his son would be at the 2022 tournament.
"Under these blackmails and conditions, he probably won't. I wouldn't do that. And he's my son, so you decide for yourself."
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