The Serbian, who can still appeal, faces a new expulsion from the country and a three-year sanction without being able to enter
After several days of uncertainty, Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke made the decision to deport Novak Djokovic. He exercised his personal power, contained in section 133C (C) of the immigration treaty, to cancel the Serbian’s visa for the benefit of public health, as Djokovic was not vaccinated and the contagion produced on December 16 was considered insufficient. This ends with a soap opera that lasted ten days and that has shaken the world of sports and world politics. Djokovic will still be able to resort to trying to play the Australian Open, but time is working against him and the tournament begins on Monday. You have hardly any reaction time left.
The most plausible option is that they at least try to avoid the three-year sanction of being unable to enter the country that could accompany deportation. Public opinion has played a very important role in this decision, since the majority of the Australian population, vaccinated and which has endured two years of severe restrictions, is against allowing a person declared anti-vaccines to play and whose movements are surrounded by suspicions.
In addition to not wanting to be vaccinated, Djokovic made a mistake when filling in the pre-trip documents, not indicating that he had traveled from Belgrade to Spain in the 14 days prior to landing in Australia. The Serbian blamed it on a human error by his agent. He also claimed to have tested positive on December 16, he did not make it public, he did not know the result until the 17th, despite the fact that the laboratory sent the positive on the same 16, and, despite knowing that he was infected, he attended an interview on the 18 without notifying the journalist and for “not looking bad with him.”
As Hawke explained in a statement, to make the decision to deport Djokovic, he has taken into account both the evidence provided by the Australian Interior Department, by the border forces and by the tennis player himself. It is worth remembering that this year there will be elections in Australia, to understand why Hawke needed to gather all the possible evidence before satisfying the masses.
For Djokovic this is a very hard blow to his aspirations to achieve the twenty-first Grand Slam of his career, which would place him ahead of Rafael Nadal, who will participate in Australia, and Roger Federer, absent due to knee problems. The number one in the world had already trained for three days on the concrete of the Rod Laver Arena, trusting that the Government would not throw him out for having justice in his hand. And it is that Hawke’s decision does not weigh the fact that an Australian judge agreed with the Serbian and revoked the cancellation of his visa on the grounds that, when he was held for ten hours at the border, he was not treated fairly. All triumph sighted that day, has completely vanished.
Now Djokovic’s lawyers are expected to appeal the decision so that the tennis player is not deported this Friday, but there are less than 72 hours until the tournament begins in Melbourne, where the Serbian has won the tournament nine times.
And this is not the only blow to take. A Daniil Medvedev win in Australia would see Djokovic lose the world number one for the first time since February 3, 2020.