Novak Djokovic, the world’s number one tennis player, is facing another lengthy legal battle after the Australian government canceled his visa for the second time.
The decision follows several remarkable days of uncertainty about his participation in the event, all of which were caused by his refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Djokovic had planned to compete in the tournament and defend his title after traveling to Australia on a medical exemption.
That medical exemption was based on a positive Covid-19 test on December 16, which would have allowed him to circumvent the country’s strict regulations.
His exemption request had been approved by the state government of Victoria and Tennis Australia, which appeared to give him legal standing.
However, when he arrived in Australia, the Australian Border Force rejected the exemption and cancelled his visa. He was held in a hotel for four nights before a judge overturned the decision on Monday morning.
However, a new twist occurred when he incorrectly stated that he had not traveled anywhere else 14 days prior to his arrival in Australia. But that turned out to be false when it was revealed that he had been in Spain only a few days before.
His visa has now been revoked, and he must leave the country immediately.
According to Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on Friday, January 14, the decision was made in the “public interest.”
Hawke confirmed just days before the Australian Open that he had cancelled the Serbian’s visa, effectively serving him with a deportation notice.
Djokovic faces losing his Australian title and being barred from returning to Australia for three years, effectively ending his chances of winning the tournament again. His only chance of competing is if he prevails in another legal battle with the government just before the competition begins.
“Today I exercised my power under section 133C (3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” Hawke said in a statement.
On 10 January 2022, the Federal Circuit and Family Court issued orders quashing a previous cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.
“I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force, and Mr Djokovic in making this decision.”
“The Morrison Government is steadfastly committed to safeguarding Australia’s borders, particularly in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.” “I thank the officers of the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force who work tirelessly every day to protect Australia’s interests in increasingly difficult operational environments.”
In that statement, which he posted on Instagram, he appeared to blame his agent for incorrectly stating that he had not traveled anywhere else prior to his arrival in Australia. Djokovic penned.
“On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted on my behalf by my support team – as I told immigration officials upon my arrival – and my agent sincerely apologises for the administrative error in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia.” We are living in difficult times due to a global pandemic, and mistakes like these can happen.” Today, my team provided the Australian Government with additional information to clarify the situation.”