Novak Djokovic gets visa canceled again, faces deportation from Australia

Fox News Flash top headlines for January 13

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking on Foxnews.com.

Novak Djokovic had his visa revoked and faces deportation again over his COVID-19 vaccination status days before the start of the Australian Open despite the government ruling in his favor earlier in the week.

Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said Friday he used ministerial discretion on the grounds of public interest to cancel Djokovic’s visa.

Defending men’s champion Serbia’s Novak Djokovic gestures during a practice session on Margaret Court Arena ahead of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.
(AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Defending champion Serbia’s Novak Djokovic takes a drink during a practice session at the Rod Laver Arena ahead of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022.
(Kelly Defina/Pool Photo via AP)

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

Djokovic is unvaccinated against the coronavirus.  All Australian Open participants and incoming travelers into the country need to be vaccinated unless they receive a medical exemption.

A medical exemption was approved by the Victoria state government and Tennis Australian, allowing him to obtain a visa to travel. However, the Australian Border Force rejected the medical exemption and canceled his visa when he landed in Melbourne on Jan. 5.

The 20-time major champion was holed up in a Melbourne immigration hotel until a judge reversed the decision. He was then picked as the No. 1 seed for the tournament and was able to practice at Rod Laver Arena ahead of the Open.

The saga has overshadowed the tournament.

Defending men’s champion Serbia’s Novak Djokovic rests during a practice session on Margaret Court Arena ahead of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan. 13, 2022.
(AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)

“It’s not a good situation for anyone. Just want it obviously to get resolved. I think it would be good for everyone if that was the case. It just seems like it’s dragged on for quite a long time now — not great for the tennis, not great for the Australian Open, not great for Novak,” British tennis star Andy Murray said.

Should Djokovic be forced to pull out of the event before the order of play is announced for Day 1, Grand Slam rules state No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev of Russia would move into his spot to face Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia.

If Djokovic withdraws after the schedule is released, he will be replaced by a “lucky loser.” The so-called “lucky loser” is a player who loses in the qualifying tournament but gets into the main draw because of another player’s dropout.

The Australian Open begins Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Read Full Article