Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1-ranked player in men’s tennis, had a lot at stake going into this year’s Australian Open. If he were to win, the Grand Slam would be his 21st, making him the most decorated male tennis player in history.
But he was not vaccinated against Covid-19, flying in the face of Australia’s rules, and he was detained on arrival. Despite challenging that decision through the courts, he was ultimately deported.
In Australia, the “Djokovic affair” has become about a lot more than athletes and vaccines — it has prompted conversations about the country’s aggressive border policy, isolationism and treatment of migrants.