Novak Djokovic has been slammed by world No 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas for 'playing by his own rules' and putting the Australian Open at 'risk' following his controversial arrival in Melbourne.
The world No 1 was dramatically detained by border force officials at Melbourne airport last week after having his visa denied upon entry.
Djokovic has repeatedly refused to reveal his Covid vaccination status in the months leading up to the Grand Slam event, but confirmed that he was in fact able to compete after receiving a medical exemption.
Despite this being accepted by tournament officials, it wasn't by Australian border control as Djokovic was moved into a quarantine hotel upon arriving Down Under.
On Monday, a court order then overruled the decision to decline the 20-time Grand Slam winner entry into the country and the tournament, resulting in him being drawn against fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round.
However, he still isn't guaranteed a place at the Melbourne Slam, with immigration minister Alex Hawke having the final say on whether Djokovic should be deported for good.
Meanwhile, after winning his appeal, Djokovic has come under even more scrutiny after it emerged he had attended press events while he had Covid.
More potential breaches of Covid regulations have since come out, with fresh concerns now over how he entered Spain for a recent visit to Marbella – on top of facing questions over his trips to Belgrade and Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open.
Revelations concerning his positive Covid test in December have led to Spain's lawmakers digging deeper into whether the Serb broke their travel regulations while visiting Marbella – according to the Daily Mail.
And ahead of the Grand Slam opener next week, Djokovic has been slammed by one of his on-court rivals in Tsitsipas.
The Greek told WIONews : "For sure he's been playing by his own rules and has been doing something that not many players have the guts to go and do.
"Especially after the ATP announced certain criteria for players to enter the country.
"No one would have really thought: 'I can come to Australia unvaccinated and not have to follow the protocols they gave me'.
"It takes a lot of daring to do, I think, putting a Grand Slam at risk, I don't think a lot of players would do that.
"I chose to go and be 100 percent ready for whatever was to come, not having to think about anything else. For Novak it worked another way.
"That doesn't really mean that my way is the right one and his way is the wrong one. It's just each person's decision about it."
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Players were informed by tournament organisers and Australian politicians that a vaccine against COVID-19 would be required to compete.
And whilst nearly all of the field competing having followed protocol, Tsitsipas believes the minority that haven’t have made the rest look like ‘fools’.
He continued: "In the other sense I'd say, it kind of seems like not everyone is playing by the rules of how Tennis Australia or some governments have been putting things.
"And a very small minority of that percentage chose to follow their own way which kind of makes the rest, the majority, look like they're all fools or something."
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