Novak Djokovic Banned From Australia

Unvaccinated Djokovic faces problems participating in the Australian Tennis Open


Novak Djokovic is one of the world’s most decorated tennis stars. Specifically, he has one the Australian Open nine times and was looking to extend this feat to ten championships this week. This win would make him the most successful male tennis player in history with 21 Grand Slam titles. Djokovic has been a controversial character in the past because of his refusal to obtain a covid-19 vaccination, despite Australia’s extremely strict and vigilant rules to contain the virus. For now, Djokovic was due to face Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round on Monday but since his Australian visa was revoked there will be a shuffling of the bracket unless Djokovic can get it appealed. Let’s look at how we got to this point:

On January 1st, Djokovic’s team submitted his travel declaration to the Australian Ministry of Home Affairs. This document says that Djokovic is clear for quarantine-free arrival. According to an affidavit on January 2nd, Djokovic received a Border Travel Permit by the state government of Victoria, the host city of the Australian Open. On January 4th, Djokovic left Spain and he arrived in Melbourne around midnight. His passport was then taken and he was escorted to a room where he was interviewed. On the 6th, his visa was canceled by the Australian government and he was taken to a temporary detention center in Park Hotel, Melbourne. That day, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that a Covid-19 infection alone in the past six months does not meet the Australian requirements for quarantine-free entry (an argument made by Djokovic). On the 10th, a judge overrules the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa and orders his release. Despite this, the judge discloses that the Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke still has the right to deport Djokovic. On the 11th, the Australian Border Force investigated if Djokovic had submitted false documents ahead of his arrival. On the 12th, Djokovic’s team said that they provided additional information to the Australian government to clarify. Yet, the Australian Border force were still investigating documents saying that Djokovic didn’t travel after testing positive and participating in public events, yet he did. Now as of this morning on the 14th, Djokovic is set to be detained on Saturday after his visa was canceled again. Alex Hawke did decide to deport Djokovic which consists of a three-year visa ban if it is not successfully appealed. The Prime Minister Scott Morrision was also in support of this decision saying, “Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected.”

Djokovic was deported and will not participate in the Australian open which began on Monday.