Djokovic’s appeal for revoked Australian visa goes to Supreme Court

Novak Djokovic’s bid to play in the Australian Open went to a high court on Saturday as the No. 1 ranked tennis player appealed for a second revocation of his visa.

Djokovic was not seen on the public’s online feed for a 15-minute hearing, which began just two days before his first match of 2022 in Melbourne Park.

Judge David O’Callaghan ruled that Djokovic and the lawyers representing the government would be required to submit written arguments by the end of the week, with a further hearing scheduled for Sunday morning.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke Blocked The 34-year-old Serb’s visa, which was originally revoked when he landed at Melbourne airport last week. But he was reinstated by a judge on Monday, as Djokovic was not allowed to have a lawyer with him at the airport.

Deportation from Australia can result in a three-year repatriation ban, although it can be waived depending on the circumstances.

Novak Djokovic - Croatia - Davis Cup Finals 2021 - Semi Final 1
Novak Djokovic – Croatia – Davis Cup Finals 2021 – Semi Final 1

Oscar Gonzalez / Noor Photo via Getty Images

Djokovic holds a record nine Australian Open titles, including three in a row, as part of his overall Grand Slam of 20 championships. He has the most ties to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in history.

Djokovic has admitted that his travel statement was incorrect because it failed to indicate that he had been to several countries in the two weeks before arriving in Australia. In a post on social media on Wednesday that made his most public comments on the whole incident, Djokovic blamed his agent for checking the wrong box on the form and called it “human error and certainly intentional.” “No,” he said.

In the same post, Djokovic said he proceeded with an interview and photo shoot with a French newspaper in Serbia, despite knowing that he had tested positive for COVID-19 two days earlier. Djokovic is trying to use what he says was a positive test on December 16 to justify a medical waiver that would allow him to eliminate the need for a vaccine.

Hawk said he revoked the visa “on the grounds of health and good order, on the grounds that it was in the public interest to do so.” The statement added that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government was “committed to protecting Australia’s borders, especially in the area of ​​COVID-19 epidemics.”

The main reason for the appeal against Hawk’s decision, according to the athlete’s lawyers, was that it was not based on the fact that Djokovic could face health risks from not being vaccinated, but on the fact that How can antivirals understand this?

Morrison himself welcomed Djokovic’s pending deportation. The whole incident has touched a nerve in Australia and especially in the state of Victoria, where locals have gone through hundreds of days of lockdown in the worst period of the epidemic and more than 90% of adults have a vaccination rate.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic attends a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 14, 2022.

Martin Cape / AFP via Getty Images

Australia is currently experiencing a massive increase in cases of the virus, which runs on highly transmissible Omicron variants. On Friday, the nation reported 130,000 new cases, including about 35,000 in the state of Victoria. While many affected people are not getting as sick as they did in the previous outbreak, the increase is still putting a severe strain on the health system, with more than 4,400 people hospitalized. It is also causing disruptions in the workplace and in the supply chain.

“This epidemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian, but together we have saved lives and our livelihoods … Australians have made many sacrifices during this epidemic,” Morrison said. And they rightly expect that these sacrifices will result in protection. ” . That is what the ministers are doing today.

Everyone at the Australian Open – including athletes, their support teams and spectators – must be vaccinated against the corona virus. Djokovic has not been vaccinated and has sought medical exemption on the grounds that he tested positive for COVID-19 in December.

The waiver was approved by the Victorian state government and Tennis Australia, apparently allowing him to obtain a travel visa. But the Australian Border Force rejected the exemption and revoked his visa when he arrived in the country on 5 January.

Djokovic spent four nights in an immigration detention hotel before the judge overturned the decision. The decision allowed Djokovic to roam freely in Australia and practice daily in Melbourne Park.

Andy Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion and five-time runner-up at the Australian Open, said it was not a good situation for anyone. “It simply came to our notice then. It would have been better for everyone. I think it would have been better for everyone. Not very good, not good for Novak. “

According to Grand Slam rules, if Djokovic is forced out of the tournament before the 1-day game order is announced, the No. 5 seed will replace Djokovic in the ruble bracket. If Djokovic withdraws from the tournament following the release of Monday’s schedule, he will be replaced on the field by the so-called “lucky loser” – a player who loses in the qualifying tournament but before the competition. Due to the player being out, he joins the main draw. Has started.

And if Djokovic plays in a match – or more – and then is told he can no longer participate in the tournament, his next opponent will only advance to the next round and there will be no substitute.