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Novak Djokovic arrested by Australian border authorities

by archysport

Tennis player Novak Djokovic. / photo: Afp | Video: ep

The Serbian tennis player first met with federal agents from the oceanic country before being arrested and brought to justice

The never-ending story and the never-ending story are mere anecdotes compared to Novak Djokovic’s odyssey trying to make it to the Australian Open. The Government of the oceanic country withdrew his visa for the second time this Friday, but the Serbian’s immediate appeal involved the holding of a new trial, scheduled for the early hours of Sunday (Saturday night in Spain), in which, once For all, it will be settled if Djokovic has the right to remain in Australia or if he will be deported and punished with three years without entering the country.

After Immigration Minister Alex Hawke exercised his personal right to cancel Djokovic’s visa, the case, far from being closed, took a new turn this Friday. A few minutes after Hawke’s decision, which used the defense of public health to expel Djokovic, was known, the Serb appealed with the intention of buying time. This allowed him not to have to leave Australia on the next flight to Europe and to have the right to a preview that lasted until midnight on Friday in Melbourne (in the morning in Spain). Judge Anthony Kelly, who ruled in the Serb’s favor on Monday, was practically swept out of bed by Djokovic’s lawyers and the Australian government, and a proceeding was held to determine next steps.

The first thing that the Belgrade tennis player’s lawyers achieved was to delay the deportation, at the same time that they claimed that it is based on an attempt by the Government to punish the “anti-vaccine sentiment” of their client, something they consider “completely irrational.”

It is the first time that Djokovic’s defense has used this argument, despite the fact that the player has never declared himself as such, although he did oppose the use of the mandatory vaccine on the circuit. His status was a mystery until he needed a medical exemption to enter the oceanic country earlier this year.

The authorities’ response was that the decision is based on preserving public health in a country that has practically forced its entire population to be vaccinated and that has been one of the most restrictive during the pandemic. Judge Kelly, visibly tired of a process that continues to drag on and turns on itself, decided that the Australian border forces arrested Djokovic early on Saturday morning in Australia (night in Spain) following the established protocol . Before, the Serbian tennis player had met with federal agents in an undetermined place to avoid the “media circus”. Of course, he was unable to train less than 48 hours before the start of the tournament, the first Grand Slam of the season that begins on Monday, thus slowing down his progression in recent days.

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Kelly also ruled that the final trial will take place tomorrow, but transferred its powers to the Australian federal court, so the man who released Djokovic this week will not be in charge of delivering justice this time. It will be Judge David O’Callaghan who will preside over the final trial set for 9:30 am on Sunday (Saturday night in Spain). In this way, the Balkan tennis player would be given time to prepare for his debut at the Australia Open on Monday.

The Australian authorities are expected to use all the ammunition that has appeared in recent days in the trial and that they question Djokovic’s arrival in the country. The number one in the world lied in the documentation prior to landing in the country and said that he had not traveled in the last fourteen days.

However, he had flown from Belgrade to Spain for Christmas. Djokovic’s justification was that this form was filled out by his lawyer. He will also have to defend the fact that he tested positive on December 16 and, despite the fact that the laboratory had the results ready that same day, he did not know them until December 17, when he attended an event with children in Belgrade. Djokovic also gave an interview the next day in which he did not notify the journalist that he was infected with coronavirus. “I didn’t want to look bad with him,” said the tennis player.

From trial to court… or home

The Australian Open has also not sided with Novak Djokovic. The tournament announced this Friday the order of play for the first day and placed the Serb in it, despite the fact that 24 hours before he will be in court fighting to prevent his deportation. This leaves the world number one, who has been training at the Rod Laver Arena since Monday, with no room for preparation and who has already had to endure an unexpected five-day confinement when he had to seclude himself in a Melbourne hotel.

Doubts regarding Djokovic’s level are increasing, both due to his physical and mental state. “I don’t know how all this will affect him, but it doesn’t have to be easy,” Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli said this week. This is not just another tournament for Djokovic. It is his clearest opportunity to surpass Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal in the total number of 20 Grand Slam titles and stand out as the best in history. It is his best option because nobody has won as many times as he has in Australia.

In addition, the Serbian has not played an official match since the Davis Cup semifinals in December and would have to face five sets, in the heat of Melbourne and with no margin of preparation. This situation also has its impact on the rest of the tennis players, and that is that if Djokovic is deported, his place in the draw will be occupied by the fifth seed, in this case Andrey Rublev, dragging several more tennis players with him. In addition, a gap would be opened for a player who has lost in the previous phase.

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