Djokovic: the tennis player steps on the courts of the Australian Open after a judge decreed his departure from the hotel where he was being held

This Monday a judge ruled in favor of tennis player Novak Djokovic, whose visa was withdrawn by the Australian government and held in a migration center since Thursday for allegedly not complying with the entry provisions established by the coronavirus pandemic.

The world’s number one player was ordered released 30 minutes after the decision made by Judge Anthony Kelly.

In addition, the Australian government will have to pay your legal expenses.

Djokovic thus has a better chance of participate in the Australian Open, which starts on 17 January.

“I am pleased and grateful that the judge reversed the cancellation of my visa. Despite everything that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete at the Australian Open ”, the same tennis player wrote hours later on Twitter.

To which he added: “I’m still focused on that. I flew here to play one of the biggest events in front of the amazing fans. “

His mother, Dijana Djokovic, described the court decision as “the greatest victory” of her son’s career. “It is bigger than any Grand Slam,” he said this Monday, at a press conference offered from Belgrade and after thanking those who have supported him.

However, attorneys for the federal government told the court that the country’s immigration minister reserves the right to exercise its power to revoke Djokovic’s visa again.

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Supporters of Novak Djokovic have been demonstrating in front of the court during the process.

Djokovic, 34, had been held in an immigration detention hotel along with long-term asylum seekers. He was allowed to attend his lawyers’ office for virtual hearings, but had not been seen in public since he arrived in Australia.

Meanwhile, Members of the Serbian community in Australia, stationed in front of the court, expressed their joy when the ruling was announced.

About 100 supporters of the tennis star had been camping there during the hearing. Before that, they had been in front of the hotel where he was believed to be being held.

The details of the court order

1. The Australian government’s decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa has been reversed.

2. The government must pay Djokovic’s legal costs.

3. Djokovic will be released from detention immediately. That release should not take more than 30 minutes after the order is issued, Judge Anthony Kelly said.

4. Passport and personal items will be returned to Djokovic immediately.

A) Yes was the audience

The government acknowledged in court that Djokovic had not been given enough time to respond after being notified of the cancellation of his visa.

The player was informed that he had until 08:30 local time last Thursday to present allegations about the cancellation of the visa, according to section 116 of the Australian Migration Act, but the border authorities made the decision shortly after 07:40.

The judge considered that Djokovic could have had more time to claim the reasons for which your visa should notía be withdrawn if the authorities had adhered to the original time.

“We all play by the same rules,” Judge Kelly stated. “In other words: those rules were not observed.”

The hearing began on the morning of this Monday, after 9 delays caused by technical problems for the live broadcast.

An image taken from a television broadcast shows an individual believed to be Novak Djokovic leaving the Melbourne detention center where he was being held, January 10, 2022

Getty Images
This image taken from a television broadcast shows an individual believed to be Novak Djokovic leaving the Melbourne detention center where he was being held.

Djokovic’s lawyers argued that the 20-time Grand Slam champion entered the country convinced that his exemption from restrictions that require travelers to be fully vaccinated against covid-19 it was valid.

Attorney Nick Wood maintained that the exemption was granted to the player by two different medical entities after he had contracted the infection and that he had presented all the medical evidence to authorities.

“He had done absolutely everything. Got engaged with everything Tennis Australia required of himWood stated.

Judge Kelly appeared to agree with Wood’s arguments, telling government attorneys that he was “unsettled” by what he had heard so far.

“What else could this man have done?”, he questioned.


The lawyers also argued that the treatment Australian Border Force officials gave their client upon arrival was “grossly unfair.”

After officials at the airport approached him, he asked that they wait until morning to hear what his team had to say before deciding whether to leave the country. Officials agreed to that initially.

He went to sleep, but he was woken up by officials at 06:00. They allegedly pressured him to respond “because it would be better for him if they made the decision immediately.”

Government attorney Christopher Tran argued that Djokovic’s recent infection did not entitle him to an exemption from the travel rules, and denied that he had made the decision unfairly or unreasonably.

But the judge ruled in favor of the player and ordered his immediate release.

However, the saga might not have ended yet. Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is considering using his powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa again.

If that happens, the judge warned that Djokovic, currently the world’s number one tennis player, could not return to Australia for three years.

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