HomeNEWS SPORTSNovak Djokovic 'cleared to play Australian Open' despite refusing to get jabbed – Express
Novak Djokovic 'cleared to play Australian Open' despite refusing to get jabbed – Express
October 3, 2022
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info Novak Djokovic will be able to return to the Australian Open in January despite being unvaccinated, according to reports. The 21-time Grand Slam champion was deported from the country on the eve of the tournament back in January after having his visa revoked over his ability to “excite anti-vax sentiment” in Australia and automatically received a three-year ban. But according to the Herald Sun, Djokovic has been cleared to return in 2023. Djokovic was at the centre of a tumultuous saga in Australia at the start of the season as he arrived in the country unvaccinated with a medical exemption supplied by Tennis Australia. The world No 6 had his visa cancelled and was held in a government detention hotel before winning an appeal to have the decision overturned. But days later, the country’s Immigration Minister exercised his powers to cancel the Serb’s visa for a second time on the grounds that his presence would “excite anti-vax sentiment” in the country and Djokovic lost a second appeal, ending up deported on the eve of the tournament. It meant that he automatically received a three-year ban from returning to the country – something that applies to everyone who has their visa cancelled but can be overturned at discretion in an appeal. And it appears that when nine-time Australian Open champion decides to lodge an appeal, he will cleared to return in time for the 2023 edition of the tournament, taking place in four months’ time. According to Australia’s Herald Sun, Djokovic has not filed any appeal documents but senior government sources have confirmed the decision has all but been made to overturn his ban. JUST IN: Frances Tiafoe warns to ATP Tour over Nadal edge no one else has
Following Australia’s 2022 Federal Election in May, a new government was voted into power. It means that those who made the decision to revoke Djokovic’s visa in January are no longer involved with the process, and new Immigration Minster Andrew Giles is said to have decided “in principle” to overturn the 35-year-old’s three-year travel ban and if and when he appeals. It comes after unvaccinated US swimmer Michael Andrew was allowed to enter the country for Australia’s ‘Duel in the Pool’ against the United States. The move caused controversy, coming just six months after Djokovic was deported for his unvaccinated status, with Andrew himself an athlete that previously caused outrage for competing in the Tokyo Olympics without the jab. DON’T MISS US Open fans baffled as woman seen knitting during Tiafoe-Alcaraz epic John McEnroe admits Casper Ruud surprise ahead of US Open final Rafael Nadal once declined invitation to meet Queen – ‘Impossible’
The decision opened the door for Djokovic to be allowed back into the country before his three-year ban expired, and it seems the same discretion has been given to the Serb who will be allowed to return for the next Grand Slam tournament after missing the current US Open as a result of his unvaccinated status. Unjabbed foreign nationals are still unable to enter the US, while Australia no longer requires proof of Covid vaccination or proof of a negative Covid test to cross the border. “Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open,” Djokovic tweeted hours before the US Open draw was made ahead of the tournament. “Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support. Good luck to my fellow players! I’ll keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you soon tennis world!”
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