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Tennis

No Vac? No Problem! Djokovic Wins Visa Appeal & Set To Stay On In Australia

You may recall that last week, we reported that the men’s number 1 ranked tennis superstar Novak Djokovic, was set to be deported from Australia due to issues with his Covid-19 vaccination status, or lack of it.

Issues with the evidence he provided for a medical exemption for the tournament saw Djokovic confined to a hotel on the outskirts of Melbourne, and led to some divided opinions over the tennis superstar.

His supporters, including the president of Serbia, as well as fans in the Serbian community in Melbourne, plus his family and friends, rallied around arguing that Djokovic had done all that he was asked to meet the requirements to play in the forthcoming Australian Open.

However, he received little sympathy from politicians and many native Australians who felt that the tennis ace should be treated no differently to any other individual.

They felt that given Australia’s stance on not allowing any non-vaccinated people into the country, barring those with agreed medical conditions, that Djokovic should be deported.

The Australian Border Force (ABF) felt the same and rejected Djokovic’s exemption and the government recommended that he be deported.

Djokovic appealed the decision and that appeal was set to be heard on Monday.

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Judge Reaches A Decision

However, the decision by the Australian Government and ABF has now been

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons – CC BY S.A 2.0

quashed by Australia’s Federal Circuit Court, which has overruled the government’s decision to cancel Djokovic’s Visa.

The court ordered that the tennis ace should be released from immigration detention ‘immediately’ but despite this, the Australian immigration minister stated that he is ‘currently considering the matter.’

The judge presiding on the case said that cancelling Djokovic’s visa was “unreasonable”.

However, it has now been reported that Djokovic has been spotted on a practise tennis court in Melbourne Park once again and that he has stated:

“I’m pleased and grateful that the judge overturned my visa cancellation” and he has indicated he intends to stay in the country and attempt to win his record 21st Grand Slam title, and a record 10th Australian Open prize.

After the court victory, fans of the Serbian ace flocked onto the streets around the court buildings to demand his release and then celebrate it once the court’s verdict was announced.

However, Australian police then clashed with the fans, using tear gas to disperse the crowd as they were stopping vehicles, including one reportedly containing Novak Djokovic, from moving away from the courts.

Unanswered Questions

The whole Djokovic issue in Australia has brought the actions of the tennis superstar, particularly those since December 16th, into much sharper focus and there remain plenty of unanswered questions surrounding the case.

We do know that Djokovic has spoke out against the vaccine in the past and during the issue with Australia, it was confirmed that the tennis star had not been vaccinated.

However, it emerged that Djokovic had tested positive for Covid-19 on the 16th December, and a social media release showed the test whereby the Serbian claimed that he had the virus.

But investigations on Twitter reportedly state that if you look up the test result online, the test result is showing as negative. Although Djokovic has said that he took a PCR test to confirm the result.

If the test was negative, then Djokovic did not have Covid-19, then he has lied about his health status to Tennis Australia and the Australian government.

However, if the test was positive, as Djokovic is claiming, there are photographs of the Tennis star attending a public event in Serbia, unmasked and in close proximity to people on the 17th December. The day after he tested positive for the virus.

When asked about this in a press conference, Djokovic’s family refused to answer the question and ended the conference there and then.

Fishy? Very. The question is, which version of events is true?

On the one hand, either Djokovic tested positive, so willingly and knowingly put people at at least one event in Serbia at risk by attending it without any preventative measures in place.

On the other, if he tested negative, he has lied to Australian authorities and Tennis Australia and used fraudulent documentation to gain a medical exemption he doesn’t deserve.

Not the actions any number 1 player in any sport should be proud of.

Djokovic Now The Favorite For The Australian Open Title

After the judge’s verdict was released, bookmakers were swift to react to the news that Djokovic was now far more likely to compete, with BetMGM Sportsbook one of many to have Djokovic the new 27/20 favorite for the men’s tournament.

He has replaced Danil Medvedev as the favorite, with Medvedev now 7/4.

Djokovic has always enjoyed a love/hate relationship with many Australian tennis fans and it is going to be interesting to see how the Serbian is supported, or not, on court when the tournament begins next week.

 

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