The Australian Open title defence has yet again run into trouble for the World No. 1 tennis player – Novak Djokovic. Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used her special powers to cancel the visa of the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
The 34-year-old Serb had won a court verdict after the Australian Border Force had cancelled his visa on arrival in Melbourne of January 6. Djokovic, who never confirmed his inoculation status, was denied entry in the country for not being vaccinated.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison backed Hawke’s stand, stating that he “is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s border, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic’’.
Djokovic’s lawyers have again moved the court to seek revocation of the visa and right to defend his Australian Open title. If he fails to secure reprieve from the court, Djokovic faces detention and deportation from Australia.
The law invoked by the Immigration Minister to cancel the visa also implies that Djokovic shall not be able to seek an Australian visa for the next three years.
To avoid the worst, Djokovic now will have an interview with the Australian Border Force at 8 am (Australian time – 2:30 am IST) on Saturday morning.
The hearing will take place around 9 am (AST – 4 am IST) on Sunday.