The fate of the world’s top-ranked male tennis player, Novak Djokovic, remains uncertain as we await the Australian government’s decision on whether to expel him for not being vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Serb returned to court practice in Melbourne on Thursday after being seeded at the upcoming Australian Open, the first major Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year.
Clearly suspecting a COVID-19 vaccine, Djokovic was granted a medical waiver from entering Australia but was detained after his visa was revoked after arriving in Melbourne last week. Its arrival has caused public uproar in Australia, which is struggling with a massive increase in new coronavirus cases caused by the omicron variant.
At Monday’s hearing, a judge overturned the government’s decision and restored Djokovic’s visa. However, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke may decide to deport Djokovic from Australia for reasons of public safety and health.
Djokovic said on Wednesday that his assistant had mistakenly stated that he had not traveled anywhere in the 14 days before he left for Melbourne last week. Various reports have emerged suggesting that he traveled to Serbia and Spain.
Djokovic also said he didn’t know until the next day that he tested positive for COVID-19 on 16 December, after attending a tennis event in Belgrade to award children. He also admitted that he had to cancel the interview and magazine photo shoot he had planned the day after he learned the results of the COVID test. [uh/ab]