World number one Novak Djokovic (34) will probably get the opportunity to defend the Australian Open title. The Serb won Monday night with his appeal in court.
Aftenposten collaborates with VG-sporten. Therefore, as an Aftenposten reader, you also get articles and services created by VG.
This means – in principle – that the 34-year-old will be allowed to stay in Australia, and that he will probably also be allowed to participate in the Australian Open tournament, which he has won nine times.
However, it is not certain that Monday’s ruling is the end of the visa: State Attorney Chris Tran says, according to the news agency AP, that Immigration Minister Alex Hawke will consider using his personal authority to cancel Djokovic’s visa.
According to Sydney Morning Herald Hawke has four hours to use his personal authority to cancel the Serb’s visa. If he chooses to do so, Djokovic will be banned from Australia for three years.
But right now, after tonight’s hearing, it’s heading towards Djokovic’s participation in the Australian Open. However, the Serb has by no means received any optimal charge for the prestigious tournament:
When he arrived in Australia and the airport in Melbourne, he was stopped and sent to quarantine hotels because he had applied for the wrong visa, and thus did not meet the entry requirements. He has spent the last four nights in quarantine hotels.
Djokovic is not vaccinated, however was infected with the coronavirus in December. He had previously been exempted from being vaccinated to participate in the tournament. His lawyers presented evidence of the infection and the medical exemption during the hearing.
The judge in the case began the trial by asking what more the Serb could have done before he arrived in Australia. Djokovic’s lawyers argue immediately, and the court ruled that the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa was “unreasonable”. Australian authorities were given 30 minutes, after the ruling became clear, to let Djokovic leave the quarantine hotel he has been to. It was also ordered that Djokovic should get back his personal belongings and passport.
According to Australian Herald Sun Djokovic has now left the hotel.
Several Djokovic supporters showed up outside the hearing to show their support for the Serb. When the verdict was ready, cheers erupted among his followers:
The Australian Open starts on 17 January. Djokovic has won the tournament nine times, and now has the opportunity to chase his tenth victory in Australia. His first Australian Open title came in 2008.
There have been several rallies for Djokovic outside the hotel that he has stayed in. There have been demonstrations against Djokovic’s deprivation of liberty, which the Serbian president has also called “harassing”.
At home in Belgrade, there are also loud protests against the treatment of the Serb.
“Thank you for the support of all of you around the world for your support. I can feel it and I really appreciate it “, the world number one wrote on Instagram.
The riots surrounding the tennis session have also engaged his teammates.
Nick Kyrgios, who is among the biggest active tennis profiles on the men’s side, is among those who have reacted to how the Djokovic case has been handled.
– I definitely believe in taking action. I was vaccinated because of others and my mother’s health, but how we handle Novak’s situation is bad – very bad, writes Kyrgios, and refers to headlines and “memes” about the situation.
The case is being updated.