Geen Australian OpenAn almost two-week long, unprecedented tennis soap is over. Novak Djokovic lost his appeal in Melbourne federal court today and has to surrender his visa. He cannot defend his title at the Australian Open. Appeal is no longer possible for Djokovic, who flies from Melbourne to Dubai at 12.30 pm.
The decision of the three judges was unanimous, said chairman James Allsop. The court made only a brief, oral ruling on Sunday. The full written verdict will appear “as soon as possible in the coming days.” Allsop emphasized that the court had made an assessment of the course of events. “We looked at whether the government’s decision was irrational or legally incorrect.” According to the three judges, that was not the case and so Djokovic has to leave the country.
Australian Prime Minister Applauds Djokovic’s Deportation
“This decision was taken for health and safety reasons and because it was in the public interest to do so,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
Djokovic reacted short and strong. “I want to make a brief statement in response to the federal court’s ruling: I’m going to take a short break and recover from this case before I go into it substantively. In any case, I am extremely disappointed by the verdict, but I respect it. I will fully cooperate with the relevant authorities regarding my departure from the country.”
“I also find it very annoying that the focus has been on me in recent weeks,” wrote Djokovic. “I really hope that we can now focus on tennis and this great tournament again. I wish players, tournament officials , staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the Australian Open, I also thank my family and all Serbian fans for their support.”
Australia has been captivated by the saga surrounding the world’s number one in recent weeks. Djokovic was told on Friday that he still has to leave the country. The judge finds that Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has the right to revoke Djokovic’s visa with his own hands. Another factor is that the Serb would strengthen the anti-vaccination movement in Australia. It is a decision ‘in the interest of the people’.
Novak Djokovic has left Australia disillusioned, he lost the appeal case over his visa. However, the damage seems far greater than missing his favorite grand slam.
Djokovic had boarded a plane to Australia on January 4 with a medical exemption, but his visa was revoked upon arrival. The Serb had not been vaccinated against the coronavirus and was unable to prove why he had been granted a medical exemption.
The Serb went to court, who determined last Monday that Djokovic was allowed to stay. The tennis player immediately took to the court to train after being locked up for days in an immigration hotel with asylum seekers.
However, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke decided on Friday to make use of his authority and withdrew the tennis player’s visa. According to Hawke, the unvaccinated Djokovic posed a danger to the Australian population, partly because of the signal the Serb had given by not being vaccinated.
Statement from Australian Open
“Tennis Australia respects the decision of the federal court,” the Australian Open said in a statement.
Djokovic misses second grand slam in 18 years
Novak Djokovic is missing a grand slam tournament for the second time in eighteen years. The twenty-time grand slam champion has only missed the US Open in 2017 since his first grand slam tournament in 2005. He then had to cancel with an elbow injury. Since his grand slam debut in Melbourne in 2005, Djokovic has played 66 grand slam tournaments. He won twenty of those. He also made 11 grand slam finals.
Djokovic called in the federal court to reconsider the case, but he was unsuccessful. After a session of more than 5 hours, which was followed by more than 85,000 people via a live stream, the twenty-time grand slam champion was told that the minister’s decision stands. That means Djokovic has to leave the country.
In addition, the decision could result in Djokovic being ineligible for an Australian visa for three years, except under certain circumstances.
The Australian Open starts tomorrow. Despite his legal battle with the Australian government, Djokovic was ‘just’ included in the draw on Thursday and paired with compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round. He would play the last game of the day in the Rod Laver Arena on Monday evening, according to the schedule that was finally published about 1.5 hours before the judges’ verdict. The Serb, who hoped to take his 21st grand slam title in Melbourne and thus become the record holder alone, has to go home before the start of the tournament. Kecmanovic now faces lucky loser Salvatore Caruso from Italy.
Djokovic shares the record with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The Swiss is missing due to physical problems in Melbourne, but the Spaniard is participating. Nadal is not one of the top favorites, but due to the withdrawal of Djokovic, he will be the only one to get number 21 in the next two weeks.
Respond can be found at the bottom of this article. Only comments with a full name be placed. We do this because we want a debate with people who stand for what they say, and who put their name on it. If you still need to enter your name, you can do so by clicking ‘Login’ at the top right of our site.
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and never miss a thing from the stars.