After visa cancellation for 2nd time, Novak Djokovic to face immigration officials on Saturday
Novak Djokovic's visa has once again been cancelled just days before he defends his crown at the Australian Open. The issue will again see a trial in the Federal court, while he has not been deported on Friday.
Things keep getting tricky for Novak Djokovic as the Serbian looks to defend his crown at the Australian Open (AO) 2022. However, his visa was cancelled for the second time on Friday, as deportation looms over him, failing to prove his COVID vaccine exemption. Although he has not been deported on Friday, he will undergo another legal battle at the Federal court on Saturday.
On Friday, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke cancelled Djokovic's visa for the second time on the grounds of public interest, using his ministerial discretion. His visa was cancelled for the first time on January 5, while after three days of being detained, the Federal court revoked the decision to cancel the same. Meanwhile, the court announced that the reigning world number one would not be detained or deported on Friday, reports AP.
However, if Djokovic is indeed deported, he could face a three-year ban from entering the country. The AO organisers, Tennis Australia (TA) and the Victorian government are adamant about not allowing unvaccinated players to participate in the tournament, while new COVID cases are already on the rise in the state. Also, only 50% of the vaccinated crown will enter the venue starting Monday.
As far as Djokovic's schedule for Saturday is concerned, it goes like this:
8 AM (AEST) – Interview with Australian Border Force (ABF), followed by detention
10 AM - 2 PM (AEST) - He stays in detention at his lawyers' offices
Sunday 9 AM (AEST) - Detention at his lawyers' offices, followed by hearing
Notably, Djokovic has already been drawn for Round 1 against his countryman Miomir Kecmanovic. However, if he is ruled out of the tournament before the day's order of play is announced, Andrey Rublev of Russia will move into the world number one's bracket to face Kecmanovic. But, if it all happens after the day's OoP is revealed, the defending champion gets replaced by a lucky loser. Walkover will only happen if he has played a match in the competition.