Status: 01/15/2022 05:02 p.m
It should soon be clear whether Djokovic can stay in Australia: the tennis professional is in custody waiting for the crucial hearing. His competitors, meanwhile, are increasingly annoyed by the entry theater.
Shortly before the start of the Australian Open, the Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is waiting in a deportation hotel for the court’s decision in the dispute over his entry. His hopes rest on a hearing on Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. local time (Saturday 11:30 p.m. CET): Then the Federal Court of Australia should decide whether Djokovic can take part in the Grand Slam tournament or has to leave the country.
After the Australian government declared his visa invalid a second time, the professional was taken into custody again. As the Australian news agency AAP reported, the hearing should take place in front of three judges. Accordingly, no further appeals against the judgment can be lodged after their decision.
Zverev criticizes the withdrawal of the visa
The sporting competitors are meanwhile increasingly annoyed by the fact that the entry issue is causing a great deal of excitement before the tournament. Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal admitted he’s a little fed up. It is clear that Djokovic is one of the best tennis players in history. “But no tennis player in history is more important than the event,” said Nadal.
Germany’s best tennis player Alexander Zverev, on the other hand, criticized Djokovic’s subsequent visa withdrawal. “I don’t think it’s very fair for a person to come here and not be able to play,” said the 24-year-old. At the same time he expressed understanding for the basic attitude of the Australian government. He understands their perspective, said the world number three, but also emphasized: “The Australian government and the government of Victoria should have known in advance what was going to happen.”
In Serbia, where outrage over the treatment of the national hero is running high, President Aleksandar Vucic further reiterated his support for Djokovic. “The attacks and pressure on Novak Djokovic, a citizen of Serbia, are incomprehensible to me,” he said in a speech published on Instagram. Vucic lamented the “pressure that Serbia is exposed to”. But the Serbs were “not able to take away their dignity and pride” in their history. The President concluded his speech with the words: “Long live Serbia! Novak, Serbia is with you!”
“Djokovic is obviously only about the principle”, Sandra Ratzow, ARD Singapore
tagesschau24 11:00 a.m., 15.1.2022
Opposition speaks of debacle
Djokovic had traveled to the tournament with a controversial medical vaccination exemption from the authorities of the state of Victoria. However, border guards did not recognize them and refused him entry at Melbourne Airport. A court then overturned the decision due to formal errors. On Friday, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke canceled the Serb’s visa again.
The fact that Hawke had taken so much time with the decision was widely criticized. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese even spoke of a debacle: “The government did nothing, and a problem turned into a crisis. This is an international embarrassment for Australia.”
Hawke, on the other hand, says he didn’t want to make any mistakes and carefully checked all the facts. He may also want to give Djokovic as little time as possible to react before the Australian Open opener on Monday. “Well founded and in the public interest,” Hawke says of his decision.
A three-year entry ban threatens
Djokovic is a self-confessed opponent of vaccination. He justified his exemption with a survived Covid infection. However, there were inconsistencies with the PCR test from December last year, and he had also given false information on the entry form.
The Serb has already won the Australian Open nine times – with his tenth win this year, he wanted to make tennis history as the most successful player of all time. But if the court decides against his appeal, he will soon be on a plane home and not allowed to travel to Australia for the next three years.
Causa Djokovic still unclear
Holger Senzel, ARD Singapore, 15.1.2022 · 15:45