Serbian star and the world no.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic on Monday won a court battle to stay in Australia to contest the Australian Open after his exemption from strict coronavirus vaccination rules was questioned.
Djokovic took to Twitter to say that he was ‘pleased and grateful’ that the judge had overturned his visa cancellation. “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,” he said on Twitter.
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In the same thread he added in another tweet saying, “For now I cannot say more but THANK YOU all for standing with me through all this and encouraging me to stay strong.”
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
Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly reinstated the tennis star’s visa, which was revoked after his arrival last week because officials decided he didn’t meet the criteria for an exemption to a rule that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated. Djokovic’s lawyers say that since he recently recovered from COVID-19, he didn’t need to be inoculated under Australia’s rules.
The judge ruled the No. 1 player had not been given enough time to speak to his lawyers before the decision was made and ordered the government to release him within 30 minutes from a Melbourne quarantine hotel where he has spent the last four nights.Top Sports News Now
But government lawyer Christopher Tran told the judge that the immigration minister “will consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation.”
That would mean that the nine-time Australian Open winner and defending champion could again face deportation and could miss the tournament, which starts on Jan. 17. It could also bar him from the country for three years.READ | Asylum-seekers hope Djokovic’s stay at hotel will help their cause
💬 “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”
Novak Djokovic has spoken for the first time since his court appeal was upheld. pic.twitter.com/OVF7iQrSve
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 10, 2022
The back and forth has gripped the world and caused a furor in Australia, where many initially decried the news that Djokovic, who has been a vocal skeptic of vaccines, had received an exemption to strict rules to compete in Melbourne. Many felt the star, who court documents say is not innoculated against COVID-19, was being given special treatment since Australians who aren’t vaccinated face tough travel and quarantine restrictions.READ | Secrecy was Djokovic’s double fault
But when border police then blocked him on arrival, others cried foul, saying he was being scapegoated by an Australian government facing criticism for its recent handling of the pandemic.Advertisement
Speaking with television network Prva in Belgrade, Serbia, the tennis star’s brother, Djordje Djokovic, described the judge’s ruling as a “great defeat for Australian authorities.”
#BREAKING: Novak Djokovic fans have locked down Melbourne streets as riots turn violent. #9News DETAILS: https://t.co/lh344JaepC pic.twitter.com/ER8QlpguQb
— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) January 10, 2022
But he said the family was still hearing that his brother might be detained, though he gave no details.
“This is definitely politics, all this was politics,” he added.Also ReadWatch: Jannik Sinner wins a 46-shot rally against Tommy PaulNovak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz set to meet again in group stage of Dav...Does Steffi Graf ever age? Husband Andre Agassi has the perfect reply'Never been friends, never been close to Roger Federer': Novak Djokovic s...
The office of Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews confirmed that Novak Djokovic has not been arrested. It was not clear where he was, though hundreds of fans gathered late Monday outside his lawyers’ office in Melbourne, many carrying Serbian flags and wearing the banner’s red, white and blue colors. They chanted “Free Nole,” using the star’s nickname. Police later dispersed them when they surrounded a car trying to leave the area.
(With AP inputs)