Novak Djokovic wins court appeal to stay in Australia & is released from detention


Novak Djokovic has finally been given the right to feature at the Australian Open after having his visa approved by the Australian government.

The world’s number one won his appeal at the Federal Circuit Court of Australia after being detained in an immigration facility.

Looking to defend his title in Melbourne, the Australian government had originally argued that Djokovic did not have a valid medical exemption to enter the country without a coronavirus vaccination.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner had an exemption confirmed by a ‘professor and an eminently qualified physician’ after he’d caught the virus at the back end of 2021, while a group of medical experts at the Victoria state, the location of the Open, also reiterated the exemption.

The Australian government tried to counteract the appeal, stating non-citizens had no right of guaranteed entry into the country and regardless of any success in court, they could still detain him again.

Judge Anthony Kelly was in charge of the case and ordered to release him and informed the government to pay his costs after emphasising Djokovic did not have enough time to react to his initial visa cancellation.

Last Thursday, the nine-time Australian Open champion was informed he would have until 8:30am local time to comment on the situation under section 116 of the Australian Migration Act, however, the Border Force were jumped to conclusions too early at 7:40am. Officials made Djokovic turn off his phone when the decision regarding his visa was made.


Prior to the court hearing, Djokovic's parents Dijana and Srdjan joined hundreds of supporters in Belgrade to protest.

The original hearing went off to a shambolic start – pornographic content was displayed instead of the hearing that was meant to be played. Citizens in Serbia took control of the call while other members of the public continued to make rude gestures, ridiculous noises and absurd techno music.

The new link provided by the federal court also capitulated due to overwhelming global interest, therefore the hearing was put on hold a total of 30 minutes (10.30am local time).

Regardless of the rough start, Djokovic’s lawyers continued to dispute the case to Judge Kelly, stating: "What more could this man have done?

"We all play by the same rules.

"Stated in other terms: those rules were not observed."



In addition, Djokovic’s lawyers brought the treatment of the player to the Australian Border Force officers attention, stating it as ‘’manifestly unjust’.’

The 34-year old was demanded to wait until the morning at the airport to hear from his team and was woken up at 6am by officers who allegedly forced him to reply ‘’because it was better for him if they made the decision right away’.’

Despite his release, Christopher Tran, the leader of the government’s case, mentioned immigration minister Alex Hawke is eligible to reverse the decision at any time, which could result in the player being banned from the country for three years.

Djokovic shares the same number of Open titles as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, although the latter will not be featuring in the tournament this year due a knee injury.

After all the controversy, it’s fate for the Serbian to claim the title again in 2022.

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