Novak Djokovic Australian Open defence back in hands of court after visa cancelled again

The prospects of Novak Djokovic appearing at the 2022 Australian Open are with the courts again after his visa was cancelled for a second time.

Djokovic initially saw his visa cancelled at the airport as he arrived in the country more than a week ago, but he successfully fought it in court and was allowed to enter Australia.

Since then he has prepared for the tournament, as well as fighting a growing media storm around him examining his movements in the last month since testing positive for Covid-19 on December 16 – the basis for the medical exemption upon which his visa was initially granted.

However, the Australian Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke made it clear that he reserved the right to use his own power to cancel the visa again, and on Friday he did just that.

“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” he said in a statement.

“The Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

Morrison himself spoke of the sacrifices made by the Australian public during the pandemic and added: “They rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected.

“The pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian, but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods.

“Our strong border protection policies have kept Australians safe, prior to COVID and now during the pandemic.”

Djokovic, like last time, has been granted a court injunction to delay his deportation until after the result of his hearing, which appears will take place on Sunday.

Should that appeal be successful, he would still be able to compete at the Australian Open, which starts on Monday, although with severely hampered preparations.

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