Novak Djokovic’s anti-holiday visa drama delays Australian Open until further notice as government reflects on decision

The Australian Open has been postponed until further notice, according to event organizers, due to the possibility that Novak Djokovic’s visa will be canceled again.

It’s unclear whether Immigration Minister Alex Hawke will revoke seed Djokovic’s visa, damaging his chances of winning a 21st major tennis title at the Open.

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Australian Open postponed due to Novak Djokovic’s visa possibly being canceled for the second timeCredit: AFP vis Getty
Top tennis player has already spent a few days in an immigrant detention hotel after his medical exemption was deemed

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Top tennis player has already spent a few days in an immigrant detention hotel after his medical exemption was deemed “invalid”Credit: AP

The official draw was scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. [0400 GMT], however, a tournament staff member told reporters outside that would not go forward.

Djokovic’s skepticism about the Covid-19 vaccine sparked anger across Australia last week after announcing he was traveling to Melbourne on a medical exemption.

Upon his arrival, Australian border force officials ruled that Djokovic’s exemption was not valid. The athlete was held alongside asylum seekers in a migrant detention hotel for a few days.

He was allowed to stay after a court ruled officials were “unreasonable” in the way they handled his interview during a seven-hour process in the middle of the night.

Djokovic was then seen training at the Rod Laver Arena.

Now the Australian government must decide whether the athlete will be allowed to stay and compete for a potential 10th Australian Open title.

Djokovic may have hurt his own cause after an error in his entry statement said he had not traveled abroad in the two weeks before entering Australia.

In fact, the best tennis player in the world had gone to Spain from his home country, Serbia.

He attributed it to “human error” on the part of his agent.

PROBLEM IN SPAIN

Djokovic may also have broken Spain’s emergency travel rules when he visited Marbella last month, according to a report.

the Daily mail says the 20-time Grand Slam champion may have broken the country’s entry requirements.

Spanish diplomatic sources have reportedly confirmed that Djokovic did not seek approval before leaving Belgrade after Christmas. The government ordered an investigation last night.

Djokovic’s public relations team declined to comment, citing the “sensitivity and complexity” of the case.

The Serb admitted to breaking isolation rules after testing positive for Covid-19 and said it was an “error in judgment”.

In an Instagram post, the Serbian tennis star confessed to meeting a journalist two days after testing positive in Belgrade, before arriving in the West Indies.

He wrote: “I want to stress that I have gone to great lengths to ensure everyone’s safety and my compliance with testing obligations.

“I attended a basketball game in Belgrade on December 14, after which it was reported that a number of people had tested positive for Covid-19.

“Despite having no symptoms of Covid, I did a rapid antigen test on December 16 which was negative, and as a precaution, I also had an official and approved PCR test on the same day.

“The next day I attended a tennis event in Belgrade to give prizes to children and did a quick antigen test before going to the event, it was negative.

“I was asymptomatic and feeling well, and only received notification of a positive PCR test after this event.

“The next day in December [sic] 18 I was in my tennis center in Belgrade to fulfill a long-standing engagement for an interview and photo shoot with L’Equipe. I canceled all other events.

“I felt compelled to go ahead and do the L’Equipe interview because I didn’t want to let the reporter down.

“[I ensured] I socially distanced myself and wore a mask except when my photo was taken. “

‘ARROGANCE’

Australia has a 90 percent adult vaccination rate and faces some of the longest blockages in the world as it hopes to tackle the Omicron variant.

“I don’t like his arrogance,” said Teyhan Ismain, a Melbourne resident. “It seems he also told a few lies. So I think he should probably just go back.

However, many Serbian-Australians have shown their support for Djokovic, calling him a hero fighting for individual rights.

Australian Border Force judge ruled 'unreasonable' in athlete interview

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Australian Border Force judge ruled ‘unreasonable’ in athlete interviewCredit: AP
Now the Australian government must decide if Djokovic will be allowed to compete

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Now the Australian government must decide if Djokovic will be allowed to competeCredit: Getty