Djokovic loses appeal to stay in Australia
Tennis star Novak Djokovic has lost his appeal to stay in Australia and will now be unable to defend his Open title.
The Serb failed to convince three senior judges that he had a right to say in Melbourne after the government’s lawyers argued he’d become a poster boy for anti-vaxxers. The 20-time Grand Slam champion will now be deported.
The world number one released a statement saying he was “extremely disappointed in the court’s ruling”. It could mean he will ber banned from travelling to Australia for three years unless given an exemption.
Chief Justice James Allsop, Justice Anthony Besanko and Justice David O’Callaghan unanimously decided Djokovic did not have grounds to dispute Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s deportation order.
Djokovic had been hoping to win the Australian Open, which begins tomorrow, to take him ahead of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with whom he is tied on 20 Grand Slam victories.
His full statement read: “I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open.
“I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country.
“I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love.
“Finally, I would like to thank my family, friends, team, supporters, fans and my fellow Serbians for your continued support.
“You have all been a great source of strength to me.”
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