Novak Djokovic faces deportation after the Australian government revoked his visa for a second time, three days away from the start of the 2022 Australian Open.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke released a statement just before 7am UK time explaining that his decision to cancel the men’s world number one’s visa was made “in the public interest”, but Djokovic’s legal team have since submitted a request for an injunction, delaying his deportation.
The nine-time Australian Open winner will not be detained or deported overnight, although he will be under detention on Saturday morning when he attends the office of his lawyers ahead of the hearing on Sunday morning.
The 34-year-old was included in Thursday’s first-round draw, amid uncertainty over whether he would remain in the country, and Djokovic must now anxiously await a ruling to find out whether he can pursue his 21st Grand Slam title against unseeded Serb Miomir Kecmanovic on Monday.
Hawke said: “Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.
“The decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.
“In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.
“The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I thank the officers of the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force who work every day to serve Australia’s interests in increasingly challenging operational environments.”
Novak Djokovic – Sequence of events
|January 4 – Djokovic announces he will be travelling to Australia with an ‘exemption permission’.|
|January 5 – While Djokovic is airborne, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the athlete will be on the “next plane home” if he cannot provide “acceptable proof” that his exemption is legitimate.|
|Acting Sports Minister Jaala Pulford highlights that the local government of Victoria, where the Australian Open is held, will not support Djokovic’s visa application.|
|The world No 1 arrives at Melbourne Airport around 11.30pm local time.|
|January 6 – Around 3.15am, Djokovic’s father reports that his son is being held in isolation in Melbourne Airport.|
|At 5am, Goran Ivanisevic releases an image on social media of himself and another member of Djokovic’s team seemingly waiting for the world No 1. The post is captioned, ‘Not|