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Australian Open 2022: Novak Djokovic Loses Visa Appeal, Misses Out Grand Slam Participation; All Set For Deportation

Big blow to the World No. 1 Player.

Published: January 16, 2022 1:20 PM IST

By Sports Desk | Edited by Debayan Bhattacharyya

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The Serbian is all set to be deported off Australia. (Image: Piers Morgan- Twitter)

Melbourne: The drama surrounding Novak Djokovic ahead of the Australian Open has peaked. On the eve of the Australian Open, Djokovic was eagerly hoping that he gets an all-clear from the Australian courts to play the first Slam of 2022. But things didn’t go as planned as the Serbian superstar loses appeal against the Australian government’s decision to cancel his visa for a second time on Sunday.

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Djokovic has also been ordered to pay for the court costs. This is a very big blow for the world number one. The decision remember is a unanimous one.

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Sunday’s court hearing took place in front of a three-judge panel as Djokovic’s defence unsuccessfully argued that the grounds given by the government were “invalid and illogical”. The court said that the Serb is a huge threat to public health and as a result he’ll be deported off Australia and cannot defend his title in the Australian Open, which starts from tomorrow.

His visa was initially cancelled on Jan. 6 at Melbourne airport after he arrived to compete to defend his Grand Slam title. It was learned that a  border official cancelled his visa after deciding that the Serbian didn’t qualify for a medical exemption from Australia’s rules for unvaccinated visitors. As things things stands a deportation also means that he cannot return to Australia before 3 years as part of a ban.

Djokovic is extremely disappointed with the hearing and has decided not to appeal the ruling.

“I would like to make a brief statement to address the outcomes of today’s Court hearing. I will now be taking some time to rest and to recuperate, before making any further comments beyond this. I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open. I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country. I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love. I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament. Finally, I would like to thank my family, friends, team, supporters, fans and my fellow Serbians for your continued support. You have all been a great source of strength to me,” Novak reacted.

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Published Date: January 16, 2022 1:20 PM IST