Novak Djokovic moved to quarantine hotel in Melbourne; court records show team files injunction | Tennis News

World No 1 and defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic denied entry into Australia at Melbourne; the Serb had flown to Australia with an “exemption permission” but the visa applied for did not allow for medical exemptions; Djokovic moved to quarantine; team launches appeal

Last Updated: 06/01/22 6:45 am

Novak Djokovic's entry into Australia on a vaccine exemption was ultimately denied, and he has now been moved to a quarantine hotel

Novak Djokovic’s entry into Australia on a vaccine exemption was ultimately denied, and he has now been moved to a quarantine hotel

Novak Djokovic has been transported to a quarantine hotel in Melbourne after being denied entry into Australia, while court documents suggest his team have applied for an injunction against the visa cancellation.

In the early hours of Thursday morning Australia time, Djokovic was denied entry into the country after his visa was canceled by border force officials at Melbourne airport.

After being held at the city’s airport overnight, the 34-year-old was reportedly told he would be removed from the country later on Thursday.

Australia’s Border Force confirmed Djokovic’s visa had been revoked, while Djokovic’s injunction request against the visa cancellation was listed for hearing at 4pm (0500 GMT) in the Federal Circuit and Family Court, according to court documents.

The decision to grant Novak Djokovic an exemption to play in the Australian Open is the first place had been heavily criticized

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The decision to grant Novak Djokovic an exemption to play in the Australian Open is the first place had been heavily criticized

The decision to grant Novak Djokovic an exemption to play in the Australian Open is the first place had been heavily criticized

The saga has created an international incident with the Serbian president claiming harassment of its star player.

“There are no special cases, rules are rules,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at a televised media briefing.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that 'rules are rules' after Novak Djokovic was denied entry into the country ahead of the Australian Open

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that ‘rules are rules’ after Novak Djokovic was denied entry into the country ahead of the Australian Open

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that ‘rules are rules’ after Novak Djokovic was denied entry into the country ahead of the Australian Open

“We will continue to make the right decisions when it comes to securing Australian borders in relation to this pandemic,” Morrison said.

The world No 1 had announced on Tuesday that he was traveling to Australia on an “exemption permission”, but after landing in Melbourne on Wednesday evening he was held in isolation after reportedly attempting to enter the country on a visa that does not permit medical exemptions for being unvaccinated against Covid-19.

After being held for several hours at the airport, during which he was placed in isolation in a police-guarded room, the Serb’s visa was canceled on Thursday morning in Australia.

An Australian Border Force statement read: “The ABF can confirm that Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently canceled.

“Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visas canceled will be detained and removed from Australia.

“The ABF can confirm Mr Djokovic had access to his phone.”

Novak Djokovic – Sequence of events

Djokovic announces he will be traveling to Australia with an ‘exemption permit’ on Tuesday, January 4.
While Djokovic is airborne, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the athlete will be on the “next plane home” if he cannot provide “acceptable proof” that his exemption is legitimate.
Acting Sports Minister Jaala Pulford highlights that the local government of Victoria, where the Australian Open is held, will not support Djokovic’s visa application.
The world No 1 arrives at Melbourne Airport around 11.30pm on Wednesday, January 5.
Around 3.15am local time in Australia, Djokovic’s father reports that his son is being held in isolation at Melbourne Airport.
At 5am local time, Goran Ivanisevic releases an image on social media of himself and Djokovic’s physiotherapist seemingly waiting for the world No 1. The post is captioned, ‘Not the most usual trip Down Under’.
Around 8.15am local time, Djokovic’s visa confirmed to have been denied.

Shortly after the announcement, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison re-iterated that nobody was above the country’s border rules.

“Mr Djokovic’s visa has been canceled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to borders. No-one is above these rules,” he said in a tweet.

“Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant.”

On Wednesday, Morrison had said Djokovic would be “on the next plane home” if his evidence for a Covid-19 vaccination exemption to play at the Australian Open was not satisfactory.

Djokovic has won the Australian Open nine times, including the last three years. He is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 career Grand Slam titles.

Novak Djokovic was held in isolation at Melbourne Airport before his entry into Australia was denied

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Novak Djokovic was held in isolation at Melbourne Airport before his entry into Australia was denied

Novak Djokovic was held in isolation at Melbourne Airport before his entry into Australia was denied

Greg Hunt, Australia’s Minister of Health, made it clear that if Djokovic does wish to try and stay in the country, he would need to follow the appropriate processes.

“It’s a matter for him as to whether he wishes to appeal that,” Hunt said in a statement. “But, if a visa is canceled then somebody will have to leave the country.”

While Djokovic was awaiting a decision regarding his visa, Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vucic made his stance clear and criticized the manner in which the world No 1 had been treated.

“I just finished a phone conversation with Novak Djokovic,” Vucic wrote on Instagram.

“I told our Novak that the whole of Serbia is with him, and that our authorities are taking all measures to stop the harassment of the best tennis player in the world in the shortest possible period.

“In accordance with all norms of international public law, Serbia will fight for Novak Djokovic, for justice and truth.”

Novak Djokovic has won nine Australian Open titles

Novak Djokovic has won nine Australian Open titles

Djokovic first revealed his intention to fly to Australia for the first Grand Slam of the year on Tuesday. He posted an image on social media from an airport saying that he was traveling with an “exemption permission”.

The world No 1 has never shared whether he is vaccinated against Covid-19, but has criticized mandates ruling that players must be double-jabbed.

Djokovic also has not made public on what grounds his medical exemption had been. Tournament director Craig Tiley had said it would be “helpful” for the 34-year-old to clarify his situation on what exempts him from vaccination.

“We would love … Novak to talk about it and help us with it, but ultimately it’s going to be up to him,” Tiley told reporters. “We are not in a position, even legally, to disclose other people’s medical information.”

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