Andy Murray says Novak Djokovic has questions to answer about movements after positive COVID-19 test

Andy Murray has called on Novak Djokovic to reveal his movements in the weeks before arriving in Australia. (Reuters)

Former world number one Andy Murray wants Novak Djokovic to reveal his whereabouts in the days after he tested positive to COVID-19 last month.

Djokovic was named top seed for next week's Australian Open on Tuesday, capping off a manic few days for the nine-times champion since arriving in Australia.

After being placed in a Melbourne detention hotel last week, Djokovic was freed on Monday when his legal team had the Federal Circuit Court overturn a decision to cancel his visa.

Djokovic received an exemption to bypass hotel quarantine and defend his Australian Open crown on the basis he tested positive to COVID-19 on December 16.

But photos have since emerged of the Serb, who told immigration authorities he was not vaccinated, attending various functions in the period after he said he tested positive for COVID-19.

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić said on Tuesday Djokovic would have "clearly violated the rules" if had he known his test result before he participated in the events, but she added: "I don't know when he received the test result, when he read it."

Ms Brnabić, who has spoken to Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, said her government was ready to provide guarantees Djokovic would respect regulations in Australia.

Novak Djokovic was photographed posing with Serbian handball player Petar Djordjic at the time court documents claim he was positive for COVID-19. (Twitter: Petar Drordjic )

Concerns have been raised that the current world number one may have misled Australian Border Force officials by not declaring he was in both Serbia and Spain in the 14 days before his arrival in Australia.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said on Tuesday he did not have information on whether Djokovic had visited Spain before travelling to Australia, and he had "not been contacted by the Australian government to request such documentation".

However, there is video on YouTube of Djokovic practising in Marbella at the turn of the year.

Ms Brnabić said she was "neither optimistic nor pessimistic" about whether Djokovic would be permitted to stay in Australia.

"I hope that final decision will be announced soon," she told Reuters.

"Uncertainty is not good for Djokovic nor the Australian Open."

Murray, who has lost to the 34-year-old in four Australian Open finals, said it was crucial that Djokovic revealed his movements in the days following his positive diagnosis.

"It's a positive that he's not in detention anymore. He won in court, so that's a positive thing for him," he said.

"Hopefully we will be able to concentrate on the tennis now.

"There are still a few questions that need to be answered about the isolation and stuff, which I'm sure we'll hear from him in the next few days."

Murray was speaking after beating Norway's Viktor Durasovic 6-3,6-1 in the first round of the Sydney Tennis Classic on Tuesday night. It was his first win in Australia in three years.

He said the controversy surrounding Djokovic was proving a distraction for other players. 

"This is where situations like this are frustrating for players because I want to come off and talk about my tennis and not talk about situations like that," he said.

"I'm hoping we can move on from it now. It looks like he's going to be able to play and compete in the Australian Open.

"We do want the best players there but I think there are a few questions to be answered. Until that happens, it's tough to give a definitive opinion."

Murray's comments followed remarks from fellow 20-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal, who told Spanish radio the situation was "a circus" and joked that he would prefer Djokovic to pull out of the Australian Open.

"Whether or not I agree with Djokovic on some things, justice has spoken and has said that he has the right to participate in the Australian Open," Nadal told radio station Onda Cero on Monday.

"I think it is the fairest decision to do so, if it has been resolved that way. I wish him the best of luck."

Nadal also reiterated his vaccination stance during the interview.

"On a personal level, I'd much rather he didn't play," he said, laughing along with interviewer.

"It's sports. Many interests move around it: on a general level, at an economic, advertising level. Everything is much better when the best can be playing.

"The most important institutions in the world say that the vaccine is the way to stop this pandemic and the disaster that we have been living for the last 20 months."

ABC/wires


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.