Djokovic wants to sue for Australian Open winner's prize after 'ill treatment': report
Novak Djokovic is reportedly mulling a lawsuit against the Australian government.
The world's top-ranked tennis player was deported from the country ahead of the Australian Open, where the top-seeded Djokovic was planning to compete for his 21st career grand slam title.
Now, according to The Sun , Djokovic is "in talks" with his lawyers to sue Australia to the tune of about $4.4 million for "ill treatment." The prospective damages include the $2.875 million in winner's prize money, the report said.
Djokovic and his family railed against the government's handling of the case, with his father slamming Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a "dictator" and decrying the conditions of the hotel used mostly for housing asylum seekers.
The 34-year-old tennis legend was detained there for several days while his case played out in Australian courts.
According to the Sun, a source close to Djokovic's agent likened the housing conditions to those of a prison.
“It’s well known that Novak and his family feel he was poorly treated in the quarantine hotel in Melbourne.
“His mother revealed how it was full of fleas and maggots. He was kept a virtual prisoner.”
The Djokovic flap erupted when he revealed he'd been granted a medical exemption to travel to Australia and compete in the Open despite not being vaccinated. Upon his arrival, government officials cited a discrepancy on his visa application as reason for stalling his processing into the country.
Meanwhile critics said the country's shadowy exemption process was ostensibly made up by the Australian government to accommodate Djokovic, who has long expressed vaccine skepticism and has had the virus twice. During the row, Djokovic admitted he knowingly exposed others to the virus after testing positive in mid-December.
Djokovic's pursuit of his 10th career Aussie Open title, as well as his chase for the record for career grand slam singles, were expected to be big draws at the two-week tournament.