Novak “The Joker” Djokovic is not playing in the Australian Open. The Federal Court judges ruled this past Sunday, late Saturday Australian time, that the 34-year-old Serb’s visa would be canceled and that he would have to immediately vacate Australia. This judgment upheld a decision made by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on public interest grounds that he is not vaccinated.
Djokovic, who won’t get the chance to compete for his record 10th Australian Open title, was deported from Australia and left at approximately 11 pm local time on an Emirates flight to Dubai.
“I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open,” Djokovic said in a statement. “I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country,” he added.
In Serbia, President Aleksandar Vucic said the hearing was “a farce with a lot of lies.”
“They think they humiliated Djokovic with this 10 day harassment, and they actually humiliated themselves. If you said that the one who was not vaccinated has no right to enter, Novak would not come or would be vaccinated,” Vucic told reporters. He said he told Djokovic after talking to him “that we can’t wait to see him in Serbia, to return to his country, to come where he is always welcome.”
He is not going to disappoint his President. After Djokovic landed in Dubai early Monday, he was later seen on board a plane due to land in the Serbia capital of Belgrade at 12:10 p.m. local time.
Under immigration law, Djokovic cannot be granted another visa for three years. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, however, has left the door open for Novak to compete at next year’s Australian Open.
Now with Djokovic being settled the tournament will go on. Novak was the favorite, but now it has to be world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev from Russia who beat Djokovic in the finals of the US Open last year. Djokovic’s absence also improves the odds of 20 time major winner Rafael Nadal, and Alexander Zverev to win it. Nadal, in 2009, is the only one playing this year to have won this tournament.
Article by: Chris Steele, iHearts143Quotes Team member