Australia cancels Novak Djokovic's visa again
Novak Djokovic faces possible deportation from Australia after his visa was revoked for a second time by officials on Friday — three days before he was due to begin the defense of his Australian Open title.
Driving the news: Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement he exercised his power to cancel the unvaccinated men's tennis world No. 1's visa "on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so." A lawyer for Djokovic has asked a court for an injunction preventing his removal from Australia.
- Nicholas Wood, a lawyer for the Serbian star, told an emergency directions hearing in the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne that he would file a written application later Friday.
- The tennis star is expected to attend an interview with immigration officials on Saturday, where he will likely be detained. Another hearing could be held as soon as Sunday.
The big picture: Djokovic won an appeal last Monday against the Jan. 6 cancellation of his Australian visa by border agents over his travel application and vaccination status. The judge who overturned the original cancellation was overseeing Friday's hearing.
- The 34-year-old was named top seed in the Australian Open draw despite Hawke reviewing his visa status and was hoping to win a record 21st Grand Slam title at the tournament, which begins on Monday.
- Djokovic on Wednesday blamed his agent for his Australian travel application error and also apologized for not isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 in December.
Worth noting: Over 92% of people over the age of 16 have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in Australia, and residents in several states have experienced some of the world's strictest lockdowns and border policies during the pandemic.
What they're saying: Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement that Hawke canceled Djokovic's visa "held on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so."
- "Our strong border protection policies have kept Australians safe, prior to COVID and now during the pandemic," added Morrison, whose conservative coalition government is seeking re-election in polls to be held by May.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.