Following his deportation, tennis star Novak Djokovic may return to Australia sooner than expected, according to Australia’s Prime Minister.
Djokovic, the top men’s tennis player and current Australia Open champion, was deported on Sunday, January 16, after losing a visa battle primarily due to his unvaccinated status.
Since Djokovic, 34, was deported, he is ineligible for a new visa in Australia for three years, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he could be allowed in sooner under the “right circumstances.”
“[The ban] is in effect for three years, but there is the possibility for them to return in the right circumstances, which would be considered at the time,” Scott Morrison said in an interview.
For the three-year visa ban to be lifted, compelling or compassionate reasons must be provided, according to Australian law.
If this happens, Djokovic may be able to compete in the Australian Open tournament next year.
This year’s tournament will begin on Monday in Melbourne.
Djokovic was scheduled to play later in the day, but his dramatic deportation just hours before the event ended his chances of winning a record 21st Grand Slam title.