Novak Djokovic to remain in visa limbo until Monday as he fights deportation from Australia


The conditions were months ago.

After the world No. 1 was denied entry to Australia, Rafael Nadal appeared to be short on sympathy. (0:46)

7 am

A day in a hotel was spent waiting for a court ruling and dealing with the possibility of deportation from Australia because of an issue related to his visa application.

The 20-time major champion from Serbia will spend at least another night in immigration detention, with his chances of playing in this month's Australian Open in limbo.

With his visa canceled by Australian Border Force officials who rejected his evidence to support a medical exemption from the country's strict COVID-19 vaccination rules, he had to trade the practice courts for the law courts on Thursday.

He has not said if he is protected against the coronaviruses.

The case was adjourned until Monday because of a delay in receiving the application for a review of the visa decisions. A lawyer for the government agreed that the tennis player should not be deported before the next hearing.

The federal government and the state government of Victoria had differing views on what grounds could be used for an exemption from Australia's vaccine policy for visitors.

After announcing on social media Tuesday that he had "exemption permission", the Serbian star thought that he could go to the Australian Open without having to be fully vaccined.

It would have been okay to enter the tournament, but not the country.

The Australian Border Force issued a statement saying that he failed to meet entry requirements after he spent the night trying to convince authorities.

Scott Morrison said the rule was very clear. You need a medical exemption. He did not have a valid medical exemption. We make the call at the border.

The visa cancellation was the result of a review of the medical exemption by border officials who looked at the integrity and the evidence behind it.

Immigration officials control a hotel that also houses asylum seekers and refugees.

The Serbian President said that he had spoken to the tennis player and that he should not be in that hotel before Monday.

The Serbian said he was unsure if he would be able to defend his Australian Open title.

He said that other players treated him differently.

"I'm afraid that this overkill will continue," he said. You do things when you can't beat someone.

Quarantine-free access would not have been an issue if he had shown he was protected against the coronaviruses. He applied for an exemption after Victoria state backed away from a full no-vaccine, no-play policy.

Questions have been raised about the approval of the exemption.

The Department of Health and the health minister sent letters to Tennis Australia in November stating that Novak Djokovic didn't meet the national standard for entry into the country.

Morrison said the onus was on the individual concerned to have correct documentation.

The prime minister said that other players could be in Australia on the same type of medical exemption.

He said that the Border Force acted on intelligence to direct their attention to potential arrivals. When people make public statements about what they have, they draw attention to themselves.

He said that anyone who does that can expect to be asked more questions than others.

The medical exemption was supposed to allow the Serbian to play in the Australian Open regardless of his vaccine status, but it was not allowed.

He has spoken out against vaccines in the past, but has refused to acknowledge whether he received any shots against the coronaviruses.

The exemption has become a hot political topic. Many Australians who have been forced into isolation because of their inability to obtain rapid antigen tests perceived a double standard.

Critics questioned what grounds he could have for the exemption, and backers argued that he has a right to privacy and freedom of choice.

There has been a surge of COVID-19 in the country. The state recorded six deaths and 21,997 new cases on Thursday, the biggest jump in cases in Victoria since the beginning of the Pandemic.

Craig Tiley, the director of the Australian Open, insisted that there was no special treatment for the Serbian player.

Only 26 people connected with the tournament applied for a medical exemption and only a few were granted. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported that border officials are investigating another player and an official.

There were acceptable reasons for an exemption that included serious adverse reactions to a previous dose of vaccine. There is evidence of a COVID-19 infection within the previous six months that may be the sticking point.

In June 2020 he tested positive for the coronaviruses after he played in a series of exhibition matches.