Novak Djokovic’s hopes of defending the Australian Open men’s singles title ended on Sunday after he lost an appeal against the cancellation of his visa and resultant deportation.
A three-judge panel of the Federal Court unanimously upheld Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to cancel the World No. 1’s visa for a second time on Friday. The Australian government had detained the unvaccinated star on Saturday on “health and good order” grounds.
The Serb departed Australian shores late on Sunday, bringing to an end a saga which started on January 6 with Djokovic’s 10-hour stand-off with the Australian Border Force at the Melbourne airport.
The nine-time Australian Open champion’s visa was cancelled for the first time after the proof he submitted for a medical exemption from vaccination — secured from Tennis Australia and Victoria State government — was deemed inadequate.
The decision was overturned by a Federal Circuit Court for procedural irregularities, thus allowing Djokovic to enter the country and even train in the lead-up to the first Major of the year, only for Mr. Hawke to use his ministerial power to eject him.