Djokovic draws Australian Open as Visa saga continues

MELBOURNE (AP) -- Novak Djokovic was still in limbo after he was drawn for the Australian Open draw on Thursday. The tennis star is still awaiting a decision from the government on whether to deport him because he wasn't vaccinated against COVID-19.

13 January 2022 Thursday 13:26
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Djokovic draws Australian Open as Visa saga continues

Djokovic was unable to compete despite the doubts, but the Australian Open organizers still included him as the top seed. He will be playing fellow Serb Miomir KECMANOVIC, who is world No. Next week, he will face Miomir Kecmanovic, who is ranked world No.

No. No. 1 Djokovic was denied a visa after his exemption from the vaccinations was denied. However, he won a legal battle that allowed him to remain in Australia.

Since Monday's reinstatement of Djokovic’s visa by a judge, Alex Hawke, Immigration Minister, has been contemplating the issue.

When Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Canada, called an afternoon news conference following a Cabinet meeting in the nation, expectations were raised about a possible pending decision. The speculation grew when the tournament draw was delayed by 75 minutes after Morrison's news conference.

After both events ended, the wait was not over. Morrison sent questions about Djokovic directly to his immigration minister.

Morrison stated, "These are personal ministerial power able to being exercised Minister Hawke and he doesn't intend to make any further comments at this point."

Craig Tiley, director of the Australian Open tournament declined to comment on the draw ceremony that will take place Monday.

Djokovic, 34, has tried to keep his focus on the court during the four days since he was released. In the middle of the afternoon, he held his fourth practice session at Rod Laver Arena.

On Wednesday, he was at the practice court when a statement he posted to his social media accounts acknowledged that the Australian travel declaration form he had filled out contained incorrect information.

Djokovic stated that his support team made "human error" in failing to declare that Djokovic had traveled during the two-week period prior to entering Australia.

False information could lead to deportation. This could lead to sanctions that can reach up to three years. That is a frightening prospect for a player who has already won nearly half of his 20 Grand Slam singles titles in Australia.

Djokovic admitted to the errors when he tried to clarify "continuing misinformation" regarding his movements following his infected month. This raises questions about Djokovic's public appearances in Serbia last Month, especially a media interview that he attended even though he knew he was positive.

This was yet another twist in the ongoing debate about whether an athlete should be allowed to stay in Australia, despite having not been vaccinated.

Initial news that Djokovic had been granted an exemption from strict vaccination rules for entry to the country caused a furore. The ensuing dispute has overshadowed the preparations for the Australian Open.

Barnaby Joyce, Deputy Prime Minister, stated that most Australians were against the Australian Open champion and nine-time winner of the title coming to Melbourne in violation of Australia's strict pandemic quarantine rules.

Joyce stated that most people believed that Mr. Djokovic would be asked to leave because he hadn't been vaxxed twice. "Well, it was our view, but not the court's."

Joyce said that the vast majority of Australians didn't like the idea of another person, regardless of whether they were a tennis player,... the queen of England, or the king of Spain, coming up here with a different set rules than what everyone else has to follow.

No. No.

Tsitsipas stated that no one would have thought, "It's not possible to just travel to Australia without being vaccinated, and not having to adhere to the protocols they gave me." It takes courage to do it, I believe, and you put a Grand Slam kinda at risk.

Djokovic's presence Australia is being debated against the backdrop of rising COVID-19 infection rates across the country.

The Australian Open is being held in Victoria, Australia. On Thursday, Victoria relaxed seven-day isolation rules to allow close contact between those infected in transport and education sectors. This was done in an effort to reduce the number of employees who are unable or unwilling to work.

In the last 24 hours, 37,169 new cases were reported by the state. There were also 25 deaths and 953 hospitalizations. In an effort to decrease the transmission risk, the Victoria state government decided to limit the sale of tickets for the tennis tournament because of the rising number.

Djokovic's visa status is still being debated after he posted on social media that it had been granted exemption permission.

The question is whether he can enter Australia without being vaccinated, as he recently underwent COVID-19.

The Victoria state government approved his exemption to compete and Tennis Australia, the tournament's organizer. This allowed him to obtain a visa to travel.

The Australian Border Force denied the exemption and cancelled his visa on arrival. A federal judge overturned the decision. The government's lawyers claimed that an infection is only grounds for an exemption for cases where the coronavirus causes severe illness. However, it is not clear why he was granted a visa.

His lawyers could apply to the court for an injunction to prevent Djokovic from leaving the country if his visa is revoked.

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