Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic is back in training after winning a court battle against his visa cancellation, but still risks being sent off ahead of the Australian Open.
The 34-year-old tennis champion was back on the tennis court in Melbourne on Monday morning after a judge overturned a decision by the Australian Federal Government last week to cancel his visa amid a dispute over his medical exemption from Covid-19 vaccination.
Djokovic posted a picture of himself training with his team, saying: “I am happy and grateful that the referee overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened, I will stay and try to compete [in the] Australian Open. I stay focused on that. I flew here to play for one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans. “
“At the moment, I can say no more than THANK YOU to all of you for standing with me through all this and encouraging me to stay strong.”
But Djokovic’s participation in what will be his 21st Grand Slam is still uncertain when immigration spokesman Alex Hawke said he was considering using his broad discretion under Australian migration law to revoke his visa again. Such a move could include a three-year ban on re-entry into Australia.
“The minister is currently considering the matter and the process is still ongoing,” the spokesman said.
Djokovic’s lawyers filed court documents showing that he received a letter from Tennis Australia’s chief physician in December “stating that he had been granted a ‘medical exemption from Covid vaccination’ on the grounds that he had recently recovered from Covid “.
But The government had maintained that no such exemption exists from its vaccine requirements recently infected to enter the country.
Judge Anthony Kelly ruled, however federal government decision was “unreasonable” and ordered his release.
A transcript released by the court detailing Djokovic’s border control interview showed that he admitted not being vaccinated, showed documents he believed allowed him to enter the country and protested when he was told his visa was being revoked. canceled.
On Monday, his parents Srdjan and Dijana held a press conference in the Serbian capital Belgrade, where his mother said that reversing the decision to revoke his visa was the “biggest victory” in her son’s career.
The family was “happy that justice has prevailed,” said his brother, Djordje Djokovic.
“Novak is out there to set another record. He is an athlete and the best tennis player in the world of all time,” he added. “Novak has always advocated for freedom of choice, nothing more.”
It followed chaotic scenes outside Djokovic’s lawyer’s office in Melbourne following the news that the judge had ordered his release from immigration prison.
Police used pepper spray to disperse fans after they became noisy when a car drove out of the building where a man jumped on the vehicle.
The controversy has been followed closely around the world and has created diplomatic tensions between Belgrade and Canberra and sparked heated debate over national vaccination rules.
Djokovic, who has previously expressed opposition to vaccines and refused to declare his vaccination status, was detained by the border force after widespread setbacks over being granted a medical exemption to enter a country experiencing a record number of Covid-19 infections, and where more than 91 percent of adults aged 16 and over are double-jabbed.
The scream led to Prime Minister Scott Morrison warning the player that he would be “on the next flight home” if he failed to provide genuine evidence of exemption. The Serbian government accused Canberra of ‘harassing’ the master, which Mr Morrison denied.