Novak Djokovic has not held back in his first press conference since being deported from Australia.
Speaking ahead of the ATP Dubai Tennis Championship, the Serbian claimed there has been a general backflip from his fellow players in the locker room, telling reporters he has been given a 'positive reception'.
"So far here (Dubai) most of the players I've seen - I haven't seen too many players - but most of the players that I've seen have been positive and welcoming," Djokovic said.
"I can't say that was the case in Australia. It was a little strange but here it's well so far."
Djokovic was disappointed his fellow players didn't engage with him during his ordeal down under or give him a chance to explain his refusal to get the Covid-19 vaccine, saying the energy and looks he received from his colleagues 'hurt me a lot'.
The current world number one returns to the tour for the first time since the debacle in Australia which saw him detained by Australian Border Force in Melbourne and eventually have his visa cancelled twice before being sent home due to currently being unvaccinated from Covid-19.
Djokovic was again asked about his vaccine status at the press conference, but conceded he was unable to provide an answer.
"I understand (why people have questions)," the multiple time Grand Slam champion said.
"I've seen that media has been speculating about the validity of the tests. What I can tell you is what I told Amol with the BBC. I'm not an IT expert. I have done in the last two years, as probably anybody else on the tour, so many PCR tests, rapid antigenic tests. I'm not able to understand how these tests are being processed and registered."
I'm in Dubai to see Novak Djokovic's return to the court at the Dubai Championships - his first event since he was deported from Australia last month.
He's out on the practice court now, will play his first round match against Lorenzo Musetti tomorrow #DDFTennis pic.twitter.com/6ihIkHrlIl
- Molly McElwee (@molly_mcelwee) February 20, 2022
"I'm glad that Institute For Public Health in Serbia has come out publicly and validated those tests. That's all I can say really. I'm not in a position, neither I'm an expert, to go more into detail."
The Serb, who begins his record 361st week at the top of the rankings on Monday, faces Italian wildcard Lorenzo Musetti in his first match since the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid last December.
Featured Image Credit: PCN Photography
Topics: Novak Djokovic