The tennis star, 34, was deported from Australia at the weekend, leaving him unable to defend his Australian Open title. The World Number One, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and has spoken out against jabs, failed to meet the country’s entry requirements.
As Djokovic entered the country, he cited a medical exemption from the Covid restrictions he had been granted by Tennis Australia due to his recent infection with the virus. The Serb was held at an immigration detention hotel for several days as he had his visa to stay in the country cancelled.
A judge overturned that decision, but Djokovic’s visa was then cancelled again after he admitted he had submitted incorrect information to border officials on a travel form. During the row over Djokovic’s entry to Australia, his wife Jelena, who is also from Serbia, was separated from her husband.
On January 7 – when Serbians celebrate Christmas Day – Jelena said on Instagram she “wished” they could be together. Jelena has been with Djokovic for other major tournaments, including the BNP Paribas Open in the US, where the couple were once seen arguing.
In his preparation for the competition in 2017 – also known as the Indian Wells Masters – Djokovic was practicing on a court in Monte Carlo. Jelena was filming the session and broadcasting it to her husband’s millions of followers on Facebook Live.
He tells her: “No, I like to get near the camera, so it makes me feel more intimate, more friendly.” Djokovic then grabs the phone from his wife, who doesn’t hesitate to tell him what she thinks of his behaviour. She can be heard saying: “Where are your manners, huh?
“‘Thank you, love, thank you’. Isn’t that the correct way to say it?” After the brief spat, Jelena’s face can then be seen on screen as she realises that the stream is still being shown live before she turns the camera off.
The couple have been married since 2014 and have two children together, Stefan and Tara. In her Instagram post for Christmas, Jelena posted a picture of her and Djokovic on a beach with their dog. In the heartfelt caption, she revealed how she missed her husband, while also thanking well-wishers for their kind messages.
She wrote: “It’s Christmas today for us, my wishes are for everyone to be healthy, happy, safe and together with families. “We wish we are all together today, but my consolation is that at least we are healthy. “And we will grow from this experience.