Tennis star Djokovic wins legal battle over entry to Australia

Status: 10.01.2022 8:23 a.m.

The Serbian tennis professional Djokovic is allowed to enter Australia: That has been decided by a court in Melbourne. It is not yet clear whether the world number one will be allowed to participate in the Australian Open.

The objection of the Serbian tennis professional Novak Djokovic against his refused entry to Australia has been granted. That was decided by a court in Melbourne. The government’s decision to revoke Djokovic’s entry visa is inappropriate.

The Australian government had already announced before the negotiations that it would consider further steps to continue denying Djokovic the visa if the entry refusal was lifted. Government attorney Christopher Tran said that Australia could still use its ministerial powers and order Djokovic’s exit. This means that the tennis player will no longer be allowed to enter the country for three years.

First important win

Djokovic achieved a first important victory in the Commonwealth Law Courts Building in Melbourne. The next few days will show whether he can really defend his title at the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. First of all, Djokovic is allowed to leave the deportation hotel in which he had been for the past few days and gets his personal belongings and papers back, as ordered by judge Anthony Kelly. Kelly had stated in the first part of the hearing, in which Djokovic’s lawyers presented their views, that he considered the behavior of the authorities to be disproportionate. “What more could this man have done?” Kelly had said.

Inconsistencies around corona infection

The Djokovic case has been causing a stir far beyond the tennis scene for days. The 34-year-old was refused entry at Melbourne Airport on Wednesday evening (local time). From the authorities’ point of view, he was unable to present the necessary documents for a medical exemption to be allowed to enter the country without a corona vaccination. Djokovic was taken to a hotel for people obliged to leave the country.

The Serb had appealed against the decision. According to court documents, Djokovic’s side said that he received a waiver on December 30th from the medical director of the Australian Tennis Federation. A positive corona test from December 2021 should help him participate in the Australian Open. The court documents indicate that Djokovic is said to have tested positive for the corona virus for the second time on December 16, 2021. However, there were a number of inconsistencies. For the first time, the exceptional tennis player tested positive for the corona virus during his heavily criticized Adria Tour in June 2020.

Vaccination status topic for discussion

Even before the trouble about entering Australia, his vaccination status had been a topic of discussion for months. The tennis professional had made it a secret and called the status a private matter, but this has now been clarified. The court documents show that Djokovic stated when questioned by an Australian Border Guard officer that he was “not vaccinated against Covid-19”.

The Australian Open will be held from January 17th to 30th. Djokovic has won the tournament nine times – more often than anyone else. He is aiming for his 21st Grand Slam title. This would leave him behind his rivals Rafael Nadal from Spain and Roger Federer from Switzerland and become the sole Grand Slam record tournament winner.

Djokovic wins trial – but Australian Open questionable

Holger Senzel, ARD Singapore, 10.1.2022 · 08:12

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