'Crack a smile': Nigel Farage hits back at Andy Murray in Djokovic row

Nigel Farage and Sir Andy Murray traded messages on Twitter. (PA)
Nigel Farage and Sir Andy Murray traded messages on Twitter. (PA)

Nigel Farage has hit back at Sir Andy Murray after the tennis star criticised him over his support of Novak Djokovic in the Australian visa row.

The Wimbledon champion accused Farage of hypocrisy over his support for Djokovic, who on Monday won an appeal to remain in Australia after his visa was revoked due to his decision not to be vaccinated against COVID.

Farage posted a video of a meeting with Djokovic’s family in Belgrade on social media.

Murray tweeted: “Please record the awkward moment when you tell them you’ve spent most of your career campaigning to have people from Eastern Europe deported.”

Farage responded: “Dear Andy, you clearly don't understand politics or the Brexit campaign but are filled with prejudice.

“Concentrate on the tennis and, a word of advice, crack a smile every now and again.”

Murray then quoted Farage’s tweet and added a fishing emoji.

Watch: Djokovic uncle: Novak was 'trapped' in Australia

Djokovic had his visa cancelled after arriving in Australia with a medical exemption from a COVID vaccination to compete in the tournament.

On Monday, Judge Anthony Kelly quashed the visa cancellation and ordered the government to pay legal costs and release the Serbian from detention within half an hour.

Djokovic tweeted he was “pleased and grateful”, and that he wanted to “stay and try to compete” at the Australian Open.

Australian minister for immigration Alex Hawke said he was still considering whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation of Djokovic’s visa in a process that could drag on for a number of days.

Read more: Everything Novak Djokovic has said about COVID and the vaccine

At a press conference staged by the Djokovic family in Belgrade, his mother Dijana described her son’s successful appeal as “the biggest win of his career – bigger than any of the grand slams he has won”.

She added: “He has done nothing wrong. He hasn’t broken any of their laws, but he was subjected to torture, to harassment.

“He fought against that system and against that government because he thought had the right to be there with the visa that he got, and he went there to win that tournament.”

(FILES) This file photo taken on February 2, 2020 shows Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacting after a point against Austria's Dominic Thiem during their men's singles final match on day fourteen of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. - The vaccine-sceptic tennis ace was held after arrival in Australia on January 5, 2021 -- his visa revoked for failing to meet the country's tough pandemic restrictions. A court is set to hear his legal challenge against his visa cancellation on January 10. - -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo by Greg WOOD / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo by GREG WOOD/AFP via Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic won his appeal. (Getty) (GREG WOOD via Getty Images)
Tennis - Mubadala World Tennis Championship - International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 17, 2021 Britain's Andy Murray before his semi final match against Spain's Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Christopher Pike
Andy Murray criticised Nigel Farage. (Reuters) (Christopher Pike / reuters)

Read more: The twists and turns in Novak Djokovic's farcical court hearing

Djokovic’s brother Djordje revealed that he has already returned to the tennis court for the first time since his detention as he bids to make up for lost time ahead of his prospective start next week.

“Novak is free – a few moments ago he trained on a tennis court,” said Djordje.

“He went to Australia to play tennis, to try to win another Australian Open and to win a record that he has been chasing for so many years.”

It was revealed in court documents submitted by Djokovic’s lawyers that the player had been infected with COVID-19 in December 2021.

The documents said the infection was the basis of his medical exemption.

The tennis player has been a long time opponent of mandatory vaccination.

Farage has been a vocal supporter of Djokovic since his detention in Australia, accusing the government of using “really nasty tactics” against the tennis player.

Watch: Novak Djokovic wins appeal against cancellation of Australian visa