World tennis number one Novak Djokovic was released from Australian immigrant detention on Monday after winning a court challenge to stay in the country, but the government said it was still considering another measure to deport him .
Djokovic said he was “satisfied and grateful” with the judge’s decision to rescind his visa cancellation and that he still hopes to play at the Australian Open.
“Despite everything that has happened, I want to stay and try to participate in @AustralianOpen. I stay focused on this,” he tweeted.
Judge Anthony Kelly ruled that the federal government’s decision last week to revoke the Serbian tennis star’s visa amid a row over his medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination requirements was “unreasonable” and has ordered his release.
Djokovic, who arrived in Australia last week in search of a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title at the upcoming Australian Open, spent the day in his law firm and did not immediately appear in public or made a statement after the decision.
A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said he was considering using his personal power to revoke Djokovic’s visa again.
“The minister is currently reviewing the matter and the process is continuing,” the spokesperson said.
The controversy was followed closely around the world, creating diplomatic tensions between Belgrade and Canberra and sparking a heated debate over national vaccination rules.
Serbian parliament speaker Ivica Dacic said he feared Hawke could still expel Djokovic, a move that would prevent the 34-year-old from leaving the country for three years. Spanish rival Rafa Nadal called the drama surrounding the preparation for the tournament, which begins on January 17, a “circus”.
“Whether or not I agree with Djokovic on certain things, justice has spoken and said he has the right to participate in the Australian Open and I think it is the fairest decision of do it, “Nadal told Spanish radio Onda Cero.
The case has generated huge global interest, but authorities’ efforts to let the media and the public follow events in court have at times turned into a farce as pranksters hijack internet links to stream loud music and music. porn.