Australian Court denies Novak Djokovic visa appeal

Jan 16, 2022: World Number One in Tennis in Men’s category, Novak Djokovic missed an opportunity to defend his Australian Open title as an Australian court upheld the government’s deportation order on Sunday.

Djokovic was scheduled to play his first round of the Australian Open on Monday night at the announced One Day program while still in legal limbo.

The Australian government on Friday revoked Djokovic’s visa due to issues related to his stance against the COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier, the Men’s category top tennis player launches emergency appeal to allow him to remain in Melbourne and defend his Australian Open title.

He returned to court on Sunday to face a second deportation attempt by the Australian government. The world’s number one male tennis player, who has not been vaccinated against COVID-19, is appealing to Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to use his discretionary powers to revoke his visa on the grounds that he is a threat to public order.

Djokovic’s lawyers told federal court there was no evidence to support the Australian government’s claim. Nick Wood, who works for Djokovic, pointed out how the player competed in the Australian Open last year and other major tournaments around the world without inciting anti-vaccination protests or unrest.

It was four days after the Serbian star made his first decision to revoke his visa, which was rejected by a court of law. He spent four nights in immigration custody before the first court hearing, and was again confined to an immigration hotel on Saturday night awaiting his appeal.

Djokovic, who has refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, has been on a roller coaster for 10 days since arriving in Australia on January 5. The tennis star had tried to enter the country with medical immunity from the mandatory rules for vaccinating all guests but was denied entry.

The move comes after its exemption sparked widespread outrage in Australia, which has undergone some of the world’s toughest COVID-19 lockdowns, with more than 90 per cent of adults vaccinated.

The controversy has become a political touchstone for Prime Minister Scott Morrison as he prepares for the May election. Following the government’s initial decision to revoke his visa, Djokovic spent four nights in a hotel near the city of Melbourne before being released on Monday after he filed a lawsuit challenging the procedure for revoking his first visa. 

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Australian Open: Novak Djokovic returns to court to fight deportation