Djokovic Back in Training After Court Overturns Visa Cancellation in Australia

By Reuters
Reuters
Reuters
January 10, 2022 Updated: January 10, 2022

World tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic was back in practice hours after winning a court challenge to remain in Australia on Monday.

Djokovic posted on Twitter a photograph of himself on a court at the Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park with a caption thanking the judge who released him from immigration detention over his vaccine exemption status.

The Serbian tennis player remained focused on his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam win in Melbourne, his tweet said.

Djokovic’s family hailed the “biggest victory” of his life, and said the battle to overturn the cancellation of his visa would only make him stronger at the Australian Open.

Fans in Australia and back home in Serbia welcomed the news that Judge Anthony Kelly had found the Australian federal government’s decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa to be “unreasonable,” because the player was not given enough time to speak to tennis organizers and lawyers to respond fully after he was notified of the intent to cancel his visa.

The tennis star’s family, including brother George, were delighted with the ruling.

“I’ve got to say how much I admire judge Kelly and the way he led with the whole court process because I think it was detailed, it was very thorough and it was very neutral and I want to thank him in front of the family for leading the process in such way and for showing the world the world the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

A spokesman for Australia’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said he was considering using his personal power to again revoke Djokovic’s visa—which could include a 3-year ban on reentering.

According to court documents, Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 16, allowing him a medical exemption to come to Australia.

Spanish rival Rafael Nadal called the drama surrounding the build-up to the tournament a “circus.”

“Whether or not I agree with Djokovic on some things, justice has spoken and has said that he has the right to participate in the Australian Open and I think it is the fairest decision,” Nadal told Spanish radio Onda Cero.

Reuters