Jan 14 update: Australia’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has canceled Novak Djokovic’s visa. Djokovic can appeal the ruling but it does not appear he will play next week in the Australian Open.
The Australian Open draw is scheduled for this coming Thursday, January 13, and the first Grand Slam of 2022 starts on Monday, and we still don’t know if the No. 1 player in the world and three-time defending champion will play.
Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is embroiled in a dispute with Australia over the fallout of his choice to not get vaccinated against COVID-19. Djokovic was denied entry into the country at the Melbourne airport last week. He had received a medical exemption from the Victoria state government, with the exemption coming due to an alleged COVID-19 infection in December. However, the Australian Border Forced declined to allow him the exemption because it said that was only an option for cases in which the virus caused severe illness.
There were subsequent issues with his visa, including whether or not he had accurately responded to questions on it. The visa was revoked and he was detained at the Park Hotel while his appeal was heard and decided. A judge overturned the decision on Monday, potentially clearing the way for Djokovic to compete in the 2022 Australian Open.
However, this situation is not yet resolved. Australia’s federal government could still attempt to detain and deport him. The office of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is considering whether or not the Minister will use his discretionary power to cancel Djokovic’s visa.