As the Novak Djokovic saga dragged into its seventh day on Thursday, tennis fans who spoke to The Age at Melbourne Park were overwhelmingly against allowing the Serbian tennis star to stay.

Tanya Hirst, 60, of Sydney, said she believed he should go home.

Tom Hirst and his mum, Tanya at Melbourne Park on Thursday.Credit:Eddie Jim

“He’s trying to rort the system. The timeline has been very coincidental that he happened to get COVID just in time to qualify to get here,” she said.

“It was after the time that the Australian Open had set to be able to apply for a medical exemption. It’s still not part of our federal laws that we accept someone who’s had COVID in the last six months.”

Ms Hirst said to allow Djokovic to stay would be “not a good look” and many Australians would not be allowed the same travel and medical exemption opportunities.

“We’ve had to miss funerals, deaths, weddings, etcetera.”

Novak Djokovic trains in the Melbourne heat on Thursday as he awaits a decision on the status of his visa.Credit:Eddie Jim

Ms Hirst’s son Tim, 38, agreed Djokovic should be deported.

“He should go, yes, absolutely. I think it was handled poorly, and he shouldn’t have been allowed to travel to the country in the first place. The whole mess would have been avoided.”

Mr Hirst said Djokovic hadn’t met the standards to come to Australia.

“He’s either not double vaccinated, which is [one of the] criteria to enter the country, or he doesn’t meet any of the medical exemption criteria.”

But John-Paul Granata, 39, of Surrey Hills, said Djokovic should be allowed to stay and play.

John-Paul Granata supports Novak Djokovic staying to play the tournament.Credit:Eddie Jim

“It should have been sorted out before he actually arrived in Australia, that you’d be rejected from entry. It’s a little bit embarrassing for Australia.”

Mr Granata said if Djokovic was allowed to stay “is it really going to make a difference, one person?”.

“We’ve got heaps of people that don’t follow the rules, heaps of people who are unvaccinated.”

Tripti Demaria says Djokovic should not be allowed to play the Open, given he’s admitted he’s not vaccinated.Credit:Eddie Jim

Tripti Demaria, 35, of Coburg, opposed Djokovic staying in Australia and playing in the Open.

“If he’s not vaccinated, he shouldn’t be playing,” Ms Demaria said.

“If he’s got an exemption to come to the country, like everybody else that has one, then he can stay but if not, then he shouldn’t.

“I think the rules should apply to everybody equally. It doesn’t matter if you’re No.1 in tennis, or if you’re just a regular person like you or I.

“I’m surprised he got into the country with all the documentation that has now been revealed was not filled in by him, or not successfully filled in.”

Marina Lucas gives her thoughts on the Novak Djokovic saga.Credit:Eddie Jim

Marina Lucas, 50, of Scoresby, said Djokovic should get “a first-class ticket” out of the country.

“All these players, they had to come here vaccinated, all officials, all ball kids and spectators coming here had to be vaccinated. And him, not vaccinated? It’s not fair,” she said.

“We’ve had lockdowns, borders all shut, people not being able to travel interstate to see their dying families or to go to funerals or weddings. We suffered a lot, to save our community.

“He has to respect us as well, respect Australia’s law and rules. This is what Victoria said: ‘no jab, no job’. He doesn’t have a jab? Then no job. He came here to work, that’s his job. So he has to go back.

“I respect his opinion, if he doesn’t want to have his vaccine, he doesn’t have to. But here are the rules, that we have vaccines. That’s all. He has to go, if he doesn’t like it.

“I’m not angry I sort of feel disappointed. He’s trying a little bit to laugh in Australians’ faces. I see him as selfish. That’s all.”

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