Australia Bars Serb Tennis Star; Cancels Entry Visa

Story Highlights
  • Tennis star Novak Djokovic was detained at the Melbourne airport on Wednesday.
  • Australian judge Anthony Kelly to hear the deportation proceedings today.
  • Border officials claimed the Serb tennis player was unvaccinated.

Melbourne: World number one Tennis player Novak Djokovic fought against deportation on Thursday after the Australian Govt revoked his visa for failing to meet COVID Vaccine entry requirements. The Tennis star was restricted at the arrivals by the Australian officials at the Melbourne airport on Wednesday. Currently, he is being held at an immigration detention facility, however, it is unclear if he will depart Australia later in the day or stay in hotel quarantine or govt accommodation during the legal proceedings.

Officials from the court informed judge Anthony Kelly would be hearing the deportation appeal at 4:00 pm today. The Serb tennis star had flown into the city’s Tullamarine airport late on Wednesday to defend his Australian Open crown and to bid for the 21st Grand Slam title. Celebrating his exemption to play in the tournament without proof he was fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the star landed in Melbourne.

The vaccine exemption granted by the Australian Open Organizers sparked fury amongst the border force which detained Djokovic on arrival. “ 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.

Citing efforts to press the death rates, Australian PM Scott said, “ Rules are rules when it comes to our borders.” He warned that Novak Djokovic would be on the next plane home if did not have the evidence for his exemption.

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