Novak Djokovic Australia visa revoked again; court hearing on Saturday

Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke asserted that the government will stand by its measures to curb the pandemic.

Novak Djokovic in action at Tokyo Olympics; Credit: [email protected]

World No.1 Novak Djokovic’s visa has been revoked for the second-time after his bid to participate at the Australian Open was granted by the Federal Court on Monday. Djokovic is one major championship win away from setting the men’s record with 21 Grand Slam titles. He is tied on 20 with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It has seen his bid to participate at the first Grand Slam event of the year in further jeopardy. His plea will be heard by the Federal Court at 10:15 am Saturday (2315 GMT Friday).

The Australian government will not deport the Serbian megastar until the Federal Court verdict. Djokovic will attend government offices at 8:00 am Saturday (2100 GMT Friday) to be placed in detention. Barrister Stephen Lloyd has said that the Australian Open defending champion will be allowed out of detention to follow online court hearing at his solicitors’ offices under the supervision of Australian Border Force officers. 

Djokovic was training at the Melbourne Park courts just hours before Immigration Minister Alex Hawke released his statement. “The government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders. Particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Hawke said in a statement. He cited “health and good order grounds” for the decision. He added, “It was in the public interest to do so”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison backed the decision. “Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected.”

READ MORE: Sydney Tennis Classic: Daria Kasatkina stuns Garbine Muguruza, enters second semifinal of the year

Novak Djokovic Not Yet Leaving Australia

It should also be noted that if Djokovic’s visa is revoked then he would be barred from obtaining it for three years straight. The Serbian government has reacted to shock in the development of the news. 

“To say that a high-level sportsman like Novak is a danger to the health of Australians is just absurd, it’s a scandal,” said 28-year-old local government employee Petar Stojanovic.

“For sure he has been playing by his own rules,” Tsitsipas said in an interview with Indian broadcaster WION. Nearly everyone in the Australian Open had been vaccinated, Tsitsipas said. But others “chose to follow their own way which kind of makes the majority look like they’re all fools”.

The past week has been nothing short of a test of character for the Serbian. His visa to enter Australia was revoked even as he wanted to participate at the Grand Slam with a medical exemption to get past the Covid-19 vaccine requirement for all players.

Sportslumo Desk

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