Unvaccinated Novak Djokovic visa cancellation by Australia has created a huge uproar. On Thursday the the nation had cancelled the entry visa of Djokovic, paving the way to his detention and deportation in a dramatic reversal for the tennis world number one.
Meanwhile, Tennis world No.1 Novak Djokovic has started legal action to overturn a decision to deport him from Australia following the cancellation of his visa.
The Serb had landed in Melbourne the previous evening, after celebrating on social media that he had a medical exemption to play in the tournament without proof he was fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Lawyers for the nine-time Australian Open champion fronted the Federal Court in Melbourne on Thursday, applying for a judicial review of the visa cancellation decision by Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews.
Unvaccinated Novak Djokovic remains locked in a Quarantine Hotel in Australia
Djokovic remains locked in a quarantine hotel as he tries to keep alive his quest for a record 21st grand slam title at Melbourne Park later this month.
The vaccine exemption, granted by the Australian Open organisers after his application had been cleared by two medical panels, sparked fury among Australians who have endured Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions for two years.
But the nine-time Australian Open champion never got past border control.
“Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled,” the Australian Border Force said in a statement.
“Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia,” it added.
The player was held at the airport overnight, but was moved, along with his team, early on Thursday.
It is unclear if he will depart Australia later in the day or stay in hotel quarantine or government accommodation during a possible legal fight against deportation.