January 10, 2022 10:11:53 pm
Hours after he won a court battle Monday to stay in Australia to contest the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic hit the court and was training, his brother told reporters.
“Novak is free. He was at the tennis court moments ago. He is training,” Djordje Djokovic said.
Novak Djokovic, who had his exemption from strict coronavirus vaccination rules questioned upon his arrival in Melbourne, tweeted that he was still planning to compete.
I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened,I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen
I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans. 👇 pic.twitter.com/iJVbMfQ037
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 10, 2022
In a news briefing organised by the tennis star’s family, his brother also thanked Judge Anthony Kelly who ruled the No. 1 player had not been given enough time to speak to his lawyers before that decision was made and ordered the government to release him within 30 minutes from a Melbourne quarantine hotel where he has spent the last four nights.
‘The rule of law has won,’ says Novak #Djokovic’s brother, Djordje, and thanks the thoroughness and fairness of Judge Anthony Kelly from the Federal Circuit Court in a press conference in Belgrade. pic.twitter.com/el3OPXwwpy
— Tracey Holmes (@TraceyLeeHolmes) January 10, 2022
Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly reinstated the Djokovic’s visa, which was revoked after his arrival last week because officials said he didn’t meet the criteria for an exemption to a rule that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated.
Djokovic’s lawyers say that since he recently recovered from COVID-19, he didn’t need to be inoculated under Australia’s rules.
"Novak is only fighting for the liberty of choice", says Novak Djokovic's brother, after the tennis player's family is asked whether he regrets not being vaccinated against #COVID19.https://t.co/0dSC5jL8EU
📺 Sky 501, Virgin 602, Freeview 233 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/qMOqd2QLg4
— Sky News (@SkyNews) January 10, 2022
But the drama might not be finished, with the government threatening to cancel his visa a second time and deport him.
Government lawyer Christopher Tran told the judge that the immigration minister “will consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation.” That would mean that the nine-time Australian Open winner and defending champion could again face deportation and could miss the tournament, which starts on Jan. 17. It could also bar him from the country for three years.
The back and forth has gripped the world and caused a furor in Australia, where many initially decried the news that Djokovic, who has been a vocal skeptic of vaccines, had received an exemption to strict rules to compete in Melbourne.
Many felt the star, who court documents say is not innoculated against COVID-19, was being given special treatment since Australians who aren’t vaccinated face tough travel and quarantine restrictions.
The 34-year-old Djokovic boarded a plane for Australia last week, after receiving an exemption from vaccination rules from Victoria state authorities and Australian Open organizers. But upon arrival, federal border officials refused to let him in, saying the exemption was not valid. AP
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