Novak Djokovic is a step closer to playing tennis, but Australia maintains serve even after Monday’s court ruling.
Djokovic earned a pre-tournament victory, seven days before the start of the Australian Open, when a judge sided with the Serbian and restored his visa.
“Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans,” Djokovic said in a tweet.
I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened,I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen
I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans. 👇 pic.twitter.com/iJVbMfQ037
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 10, 2022
Djokovic was denied entry into the country by border police over questions about the legitimacy of a COVID-19 vaccination exemption. The exemption was granted by Tennis Australia but doubts about the validity of Djokovic’s claims rose all the way to the country’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, and drew national and international interest.
Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly ordered Djokovic’s release in Melbourne from the hotel where he had spent the previous four nights.
Battle Not Over
But Djokovic isn’t yet in the clear.
Government lawyer Christopher Tran said the minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke, was considering whether to “exercise a personal power of cancellation.”
The world No. 1 player was moved Thursday to the quarantine hotel, which also houses asylum seekers and refugees. Immigration officials oversee the hotel, and Djokovic has made multiple requests to be allowed to move to a house he rented for the duration of his planned stay while his visa delay is resolved.
Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said in a public statement he also requested permission, on Djokovic’s behalf, to move to the rental home.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)