Top seed Djokovic included in the lottery in the uncertainty of visa decision

The Australian Open organizers pushed top-seeded Novak Djokovic into a draw, despite Djokovic facing the prospect of deportation.

After the draw in Melbourne was suddenly postponed for more than an hour without explanation, Djokovic was announced to face fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in the opening round.

If immigration minister Alex Hawke decides to use his discretion to revoke his nine-time champion’s visa for illegal entry into Australia, despite winning the court earlier this week, Djokovic will be 21 You may miss the chance to defend your second Grand Slam title.

It was speculated that the story could continue until next week if Djokovic appealed for a visa cancellation decision, but it’s unclear if there are other legal steps that the 34-year-old can pursue.

However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was also expected to announce Djokovic’s visa status at a press conference on Thursday, said he was not in a position to comment.

“I refer to Minister Hawk’s latest statement, and that position hasn’t changed,” Morrison said.

“These are personal ministerial powers that Minister Hawk can exercise and I do not propose any further comments at this time.”

Nine title holders were medically exempted from a recent COVID-19 infection, but were denied entry by Australian Border Force personnel and sent to a detention hotel.

Judge Anthony Kelly of the Federal Circuit abandoned his visa cancellation on Monday, and Djokovic had time to talk to tennis Australian officials and lawyers to respond to alleged intentions to cancel his visa. He said he was not given enough.

However, the judge did not make a formal verdict on the legitimacy of the medical exemption for Serbs who enter the border without obtaining a COVID-19 jab.

Hawk’s office said additional information provided by Djokovic’s legal team delayed the time frame for the Immigration Minister to decide whether to dismiss the federal court’s decision on Djokovic’s visa status.

On Wednesday, a Serbian player admitted in a statement on social media where he gave false information about his travel declaration.

Djokovic also admitted to participating in a media interview in Belgrade when he learned that he was infected with COVID-19.

“I didn’t want to disappoint the journalist, so I felt obliged to go ahead and interview, but except when I was taking pictures, I was socially distanced and wore a mask.” Djokovic writes.

“When I got home to quarantine for the required period after the interview, in retrospect, this was a misjudgment. I accept that this commitment should have been reschedule.”

Meanwhile, Spanish officials on Thursday reportedly were investigating whether the world’s number one violated its travel rules before he flew to Australia earlier this year.

According to the advice issued by the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, unvaccinated citizens can enter Spain only for “essential” reasons, but they must first contact the Serbian embassy for approval from Spain.

Nina Nguyen


Nina Nguyen is a Sydney-based Vietnamese reporter with a focus on Australian news. Contact her at [email protected]