Happy and grateful that the judge overturned my visa cancellation: Djokovic

Serbian star and world No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic won a legal battle on Monday to stay in Australia to play the Australian Open after his exemption from strict coronavirus vaccination rules was questioned.

Djokovic took to Twitter to say he was “satisfied and grateful” that the judge overturned his visa cancellation. “I am happy and grateful that the judge overturned the cancellation of my visa. Despite everything that has happened, I want to stay and try to participate in @AustralianOpen, I stay focused on that. I came here to play one of the most important events we have had in front of amazing fans, ”he said on Twitter.

In the same thread, he added in another tweet saying, “At the moment I can’t say more but THANKS everyone for being with me through all of this and for encouraging me to stay strong. “

Federal Circuit Court judge Anthony Kelly has reinstated the tennis star’s visa, which was revoked after his arrival last week because authorities ruled he did not meet the criteria for exemption from the rule that all non-citizens should be fully immunized. Djokovic’s lawyers say that since he recently recovered from COVID-19, he did not need to be vaccinated under Australian rules.

The judge ruled the No.1 player had not had enough time to speak to his lawyers before the decision was made and ordered the government to release him within 30 minutes from a Melbourne quarantine hotel where he spent the last four nights.

But government attorney Christopher Tran told the judge the immigration minister “will consider whether to exercise personal power to override.”

That would mean the nine-time Australian Open winner and defending champion could again be sent off and miss the tournament, which begins on January 17. It could also ban him from leaving the country for three years.

The back-and-forth grabbed the world and sparked a furore in Australia, where many initially decried the news that Djokovic, who has been a vocal vaccine skeptic, had been given a strict rule exemption to compete in Melbourne. Many felt the star, whose court documents say she is not vaccinated against COVID-19, received special treatment as Australians who are not vaccinated face travel and quarantine restrictions strict.

But when border police then blocked him on his arrival, others screamed scandal, saying he was the scapegoat for an Australian government criticized for its recent handling of the pandemic.

Speaking to Prva TV station in Belgrade, Serbia, tennis star’s brother Djordje Djokovic called the judge’s decision “a big defeat for the Australian authorities.”

But he said the family still heard his brother could be detained, although he gave no details.

“It’s definitely politics, it was all politics,” he added.

Home Secretary Karen Andrews’ office has confirmed that Novak Djokovic has not been arrested. It was not clear where he was, although hundreds of fans gathered outside his lawyer’s office in Melbourne on Monday evening, many carrying Serbian flags and wearing the banner’s red, white and blue colors. . They chanted “Free Nole,” using the star’s nickname. Police then dispersed them when they surrounded a car trying to leave the area.

(With AP inputs)

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