World Tennis number one, Novak Djokovic faces another lengthy legal battle as the Australian government has canceled his visa for the second time.
The decision comes after several remarkable days of uncertainty over his participation in the event, all caused by his refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Djokovic had intended to play in the tournament and defend his title after entering Australia using a medical exemption.
His exemption request had been approved by the Victoria state government and Tennis Australia, which seemed to give him legal permission to travel to Australia.
But upon his arrival, Australian Border Force rejected the exemption and canceled his visa. He spent four nights in hotel detention before a judge overturned the decision on Monday morning.
But a new twist occurred as he incorrectly stated he hadn’t travelled anywhere else 14 days prior to travelling to his arrival in Australia. But that turned out to be false after it emerged, he had been in Spain just days earlier.
The government has now rescinded his visa and told him to leave the country immediately.
The decision was said to be in the “public interest”, according to Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on Friday, January 14.
Just days before the Australian Open begins, Hawke confirmed he had cancelled the Serbian’s visa, effectively handing him a deportation notice.
Djokovic faces losing his Australian title and being banned from Australia for three years, a move which could effectively end his chances of winning the tournament again. His only chance of competing is if he wins another legal battle with the government just before the competition starts.