Sports Will Novak Djokovic play in Australian Open? Latest news on tennis star's visa decision

09:41  14 january  2022
09:41  14 january  2022 Source:   sportingnews.com

Novak Djokovic denied entry to Australia, has visa canceled

  Novak Djokovic denied entry to Australia, has visa canceled BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic’s chance to play for a 10th Australian Open title was thrown into limbo Thursday when the country denied him entry and canceled his visa because he failed to meet the requirements for an exemption to COVID-19 vaccination rules. The top-ranked Djokovic announced on social media Tuesday that he had “exemption permission” and he landed in Australia late Wednesday with a medical exemption from the Victoria state government that was expected to shield him from the strict vaccination regulations in place for this year’s first major tennis tournament.

The No. 1 men's tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, continues to make headlines in regards to his playing status for the 2022 Australian Open, a grand slam tournament he's won nine times.

Djokovic has been outspoken about his thoughts against the COVID-19 vaccination, and although he hasn't confirmed his unvaccinated status, it's assumed that he remains unvaccinated. Djokovic was given a medical exemption in order to travel to Australia, which has strict guidelines right now against the virus. The Australian Open also had rules in place that the players must be vaccinated to compete.

MORE: Novak Djokovic vaccine controversy, explained

EXPLAINER: Why was Novak Djokovic not let into Australia?

  EXPLAINER: Why was Novak Djokovic not let into Australia? Novak Djokovic came within one victory of sweeping all four of last year's Grand Slam tennis tournaments and entered 2022 needing one title to set the men's record of 21 major championships. He might not get the chance to pursue that mark at the Australian Open when play begins in Melbourne on Jan. 17. That's because, even though Djokovic, a 34-year-old from Serbia, was granted a medical exemption to get around a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all players and their support teams at the hard-court tournament, his visa for entry into Australia was revoked in the early hours of Thursday, local time, after he was detained at the airport for about eight hours.

After Djokovic arrived in Australia, though, he was denied access into the country. He appealed his visa status, and he won the appeal. He was allowed to enter the country and practice for the upcoming grand slam tournament, which starts on Monday, Jan. 17.

However, Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is still reviewing Djokovic's visa status before he can officially play. The Australian Open draw announcement was delayed 75 minutes, and people suspected that meant Djokovic's name would not be on the list. But, to many people's surprise, Djokovic sits at the No. 1 spot in the men's singles draw.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic's name is on the Australian Open draw right now, but will he be able to stay?

MORE: Australian Open draws 2022

EXPLAINER: Why Australia faces a tough call on Djokovic

  EXPLAINER: Why Australia faces a tough call on Djokovic WELLINGTON, New Zealand — When Australian immigration officials rejected tennis star Novak Djokovic’s medical exemption from a COVID-19 vaccination requirement and canceled his Australian visa, they set off a storm of ramifications — bureaucratic, political and legal. The world’s top male tennis player spent four days in a dowdy Melbourne immigration detention hotel among asylum seekers and undocumented migrants before Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly upheld his appeal and ordered him released and his visa reinstated.

Is Novak Djokovic playing in the Australian Open 2022?

Djokovic's playing status is still undetermined as his visa acceptance is being reviewed at this time. However, in the meantime, he is the No. 1 seed for the 2022 Australian Open. He faces a fellow Serbian, Miomir Kecmanovic, in the first round of the tournament, beginning on Monday.

It's unclear when Immigration Minister Hawke will have a decision about Djokovic's visa status. Djokovic's visa was reinstated on Monday, so it will be a full week by the time play starts. Hawke has not spoken publicly about any update in his decision.

MORE: Novak Djokovic issues statement clarifying 'misinformation' regarding Australia travel controversy

What happens if Djokovic has to pull out of the Australian Open?

If Djokovic's visa status decision comes out against the player, he will be deported from Australia and have to drop out of the tournament.

Double-fault: Visa revoked again, Djokovic faces deportation

  Double-fault: Visa revoked again, Djokovic faces deportation MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic faces deportation again after the Australian government revoked his visa for a second time, the latest twist in the ongoing saga over whether the No. 1-ranked tennis player will be allowed to compete in the Australian Open despite being unvaccinated for COVID-19. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said Friday he used his ministerial discretion to cancel the 34-year-old Serb’s visa on public interest grounds — just three days before play begins at the Australian Open, where Djokovic has won a record nine of his 20 Grand Slam titles.

Depending on when the decision comes will determine who will replace Djokovic in the tournament if he has to withdraw. The qualifying tournament ahead of the Australian Open finishes on Friday, Jan. 14, and then the full order of play will be released closer to Monday. If Djokovic withdraws before the order of play is released, then No. 5 Andrey Rublev will take Djokovic's place, according to the 2022 Grand Slam rulebook.

If the Monday schedule is released before Djokovic's withdrawl, then a "lucky loser" will replace him. These lucky losers are players who lose in the qualifying rounds, but get a chance to play in the tournament when other players have to drop out.

And, finally, if Djokovic already begins playing in the tournament before the decision is made about his visa status, then his next competitor will just move on to the next round.

Djokovic's deportation exposes Australian border debate .
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Weary after two years of some of the harshest COVID-19 border restrictions in the world, many Australians wanted Novak Djokovic kicked out of their country for traveling to a tennis tournament in their country without being vaccinated. But the backdrop to the government's tough line on the defending Australian Open champion — and Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s description of the expulsion as a “decision to keep our borders strong” — dates to nearly a decade ago. It also shines a light on Australia's complicated, and strongly criticized, immigration and border policies.

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