Updated on January 14th, 2022, 3:28 pm
- Novak Djokovic has had his visa for Australia withdrawn for the time being.
- The state makes use of one of its laws.
- But the farce about the tennis star is not over yet.
Novak Djokovic wants to appeal against the renewed cancellation of his visa for Australia. This was announced by his lawyer Nicholas Wood at a court hearing in Melbourne.
The Djokovic side wants to submit the application later in the evening so as not to lose any time. “Every minute before the tournament starts on Monday is precious,” Wood said at the hearing before Justice Anthony Kelly.
Should Djokovic be successful with the objection, he would hardly have time to catch his breath. The world number one would have to play his first round match at the first Grand Slam tournament of the year against his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic on Monday. As the organizer announced on Friday, the first half of the men’s and women’s seeding list will play their games on Monday. Defending champion Djokovic is seeded number one.
For the tennis star, however, the first thing to do before the federal court on Sunday is to avert his expulsion. The unvaccinated Djokovic’s visa had previously been invalidated a second time in a personal decision by Immigration Secretary Alex Hawke. This was well justified and “in the public interest,” the minister said. Djokovic is not vaccinated against the coronavirus and is therefore a controversial person in the country that has had tough rules since the beginning of the pandemic.
Also read: The Djokovic case: the winners and big losers of the tennis posse
Before Australian Open 2022: Djokovic’s visa has already been canceled twice
Judge Kelly, who was already dealing with the case and ruled in favor of Djokovic on Monday because of a formal error by the authorities, ordered the appointment on Sunday at a hearing. Until then, Djokovic must not be deported.
A hearing at the immigration authorities is also scheduled for Djokovic on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. local time. He can then prepare the court date on Sunday with his lawyers from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Until then, he does not have to be in detention pending deportation.
Djokovic’s lawyer Wood called Immigration Secretary Hawke’s decision irrational and disproportionate. He also criticized the fact that Hawke had waited until Friday after 6:00 p.m. local time with his decision, thus putting Djokovic in a difficult situation.
Also read: Australian Open 2022: favourites, prize money and everything you need to know
Immigration Secretary Hawke explains decision to revoke visa
Hawke justified his decision to withdraw the visa by referring to the country’s Migration Act: “Today I exercised my power under Section 133C(3) of the Immigration Act to revoke Mr Novak Djokovic’s visa on grounds of health and public order on the basis of out of the public interest.”
The decision followed a Jan. 10 federal and family court order overturning a previous denial decision based on procedural fairness. “In making my decision I have carefully considered the information I have received from the Home Office, Australian Border Patrol and Mr Djokovic,” Hawke said.
“The Morrison Government is strongly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to thank Home Office and Border Patrol officials who serve on behalf of Australia every day in an increasingly challenging environment perform,” Hawke explained.
Serious setback for Djokovic for Australian Open 2022
Against this background, Djokovic’s participation in the Australian Open is still not excluded, but has become unlikely. With his 21st Grand Slam title, Djokovic could write another chapter in tennis history and become the sole record Grand Slam winner.
Upon his arrival last week, authorities had refused Djokovic entry and deemed the documents provided for his TUE to be insufficient. Because he was not allowed enough time to react, a judge overturned the entry ban during a court hearing on Monday.
Since then, Djokovic has also been preparing for the Australian Open at the tennis facility on the Yarra River. On Friday, the number one in the world rankings trained earlier in the day instead of in the afternoon as originally planned.
The Rod Laver Arena is his favorite place, and the Serb has often dominated the Australian Open in recent years. On Thursday, the Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic was drawn as an opponent for the first round. The match against his compatriot should be the first step towards his tenth title in Melbourne.
Also read: Caught in the “Off Air” trap: Australian moderator duo insults Djokovic
No entry into Australia in the next three years?
But nobody in Australia is currently thinking about a Djokovic on the tennis court. First of all, the Serb should be allowed to speak to the immigration officials after the further cancellation of his visa. The ministry is currently in talks with the Serb’s lawyers, Australian media reported on Friday evening.
If the decision holds against Djokovic, it could have far-reaching consequences: According to the Migration Act, the Serb “under certain circumstances” can no longer apply for a visa for Australia for three years. “Certain circumstances include compelling circumstances affecting the interests of Australia or compelling circumstances affecting the interests of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen,” the department’s website reads.
That would be another major setback for “Djoker”, the record winner of the Australian Open. (dpa/msc/ank/mf)
Also read: How to watch the Australian Open 2022 live on free TV and stream
Novak Djokovic is in Australia, but whether he will be allowed to compete at the Australian Open is not yet certain. What is certain, however, is that Djokovic’s image was damaged when he entered Australia as an unvaccinated and probably newly recovered quarantine refuser. A chronology of the events. (dpa/ska)
Teaserbild: © imago images/Paul Zimmer/Paul Zimmer via www.imago-images