wo other people connected to the Australian Open have joined Novak Djokovic in being instructed to leave the country by the Australian Border Force (ABF).
Djokovic has been detained since early Thursday at an immigration facility in Melbourne after his visa was cancelled following scrutiny of the medical exemption he had secured to enter the country.
He has appealed against the decision and must wait for a hearing on Monday to discover his fate.
But the furore focused attention on other exemptions granted to unvaccinated players who cited a recent infection to gain access to Australia.
An ABF spokesperson said: “The ABF can confirm that its investigation into the visa status of two other individuals connected to the Australian Open has concluded.
“The ABF can confirm that one individual has voluntarily departed Australia following ABF inquiries.
“We can also confirm that the visa of a third individual has been cancelled. This person has been taken into immigration detention pending their removal from Australia.
“The ABF employ a multi-layered approach to border management. This includes avenues to investigate, locate and detain individuals who have been found to breach our border entry requirements after their arrival into Australia.”
One of the individuals is Czech doubles specialist Renata Voracova, who played in a warm-up tournament in Melbourne this week but has now opted to leave Australia.
Friday was Christmas in Serbia but Djokovic faces spending the weekend in Melbourne’s Park Hotel, which is used to house asylum seekers and refugees, before Monday’s hearing.
He broke his silence with a brief message on Instagram, saying: “Thank you to people around the world for your continuous support. I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated.”
His wife Jelena also took to social media to express her gratitude to the player’s fans for their backing.
She wrote: “Thank you dear people, all around the world for using your voice to send love to my husband.
“I am taking a deep breath to calm down and find gratitude (and understanding) in this moment for all that is happening.
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, who has been a fierce critic of Djokovic on many matters, weighed in on Twitter to call for his country to “do better” in its treatment of the nine-time Australian Open champion.
The world number 93 wrote: “Look I definitely believe in taking action, I got vaccinated because of others and for my mum’s health, but how we are handling Novak’s situation is bad, really bad.
“Like these memes, headlines, this is one of our great champions but at the end of the day, he is human. Do better.”
Hours earlier, Djokovic’s father claimed the world number one has been made a scapegoat and “crucified” in the row.
In Belgrade, Srdjan Djokovic demonstrated outside the National Assembly buildings and addressed a media conference to highlight what he perceived to be an injustice Down Under.
The Professional Tennis Players Association, founded by Djokovic and Canadian player Vasek Pospisil, issued a statement following contact with the world number one.
It read: “The PTPA has been in close contact with Mr Djokovic, his family and legal counsel, government officials and Australian Open leadership. Mr Djokovic has verified his well-being to us.
“He has also requested that we allow him to personally share the facts of his detainment in his own words, and in his own time.”
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews confirmed all other players with exemptions would be looked at closely.
“As people come into Australia, they need to have met our entry requirements as well as having a visa,” she told Channel 9 news.
“They stand the risk if they come in and don’t have the proper documentation, that they will be stopped at the border and will go through exactly the same process which is being played out now.
Australian Open organisers have been notably quiet since Djokovic’s detention.
Much of the focus now is on how there could have been such an apparent discrepancy between what players were told regarding exemptions and the stance of the border force.
It has caused a major diplomatic incident between Australia and Serbia.
Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic has claimed Djokovic was the victim of “political persecution” by the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and others in the country’s government.
He urged them to move him from the “horrific hotel” where he is being detained into a private rented house.
Andrews maintained Djokovic was not being detained under duress.
“(He) is not being held captive in Australia. He is free to leave at any time that he chooses to do so and Border Force will actually facilitate that.”