Tennis star Novak Djokovic to be deported from Australia after losing appeal over visa cancellation

The decision was a unanimous one from a three-judge panel.

Ashley Tan | January 16, 2022, 03:56 PM

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Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is to be deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open, after losing a court appeal over the cancellation of his visa.

ABC News reported that his application was dismissed with costs, and the decision was a unanimous one from a three-judge panel.

The full reasons behind the court's unanimous ruling will be published in the "coming days".

Potential three-year ban

The 34-year-old also faces a three year ban on returning to Australia, reported Sky News.

As a result of this, Djokovic will have to withdraw from the Australian Open.

This will end Djokovic's hopes of winning the tournament and achieving a record-breaking 21 men's Grand Slam titles.

According to previous reports, a "lucky loser" will replace him in the Jan. 17 match against Miomir Kecmanovic.

The player will be randomly drawn from the top four ranked players who lost in the final round of the qualifiers.

Had his visa revoked twice

The tennis World No. 1 and nine-time Australian Open champion first arrived in the country on Jan. 6 to compete, but was detained at the airport.

Players in the Australian Open are required to be fully vaccinated or secure a medical exemption from an independent panel of experts in order to participate, and Djokovic is unvaccinated.

Djokovic said he had been granted with an exemption to enter Australia, on the grounds that he had contracted Covid-19 on Dec. 16.

His visa was cancelled after he arrived at the airport, and was subsequently restored when he won a court appeal.

A week later, his visa was cancelled again on the basis of public interest.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the decision had been taken "following careful consideration".

He added that "Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected. This is what the Minister is doing in taking this action today."

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Top photo from Novak Djokovic / FB