Novak Djokovic loses Australian visa appeal
Tennis star Novak Djokovic left Australia on Sunday evening, facing a three-year visa ban after an appeals court in the country revoked his visa.
Driving the news: Djokovic will not be able to defend his Australian Open title when the tournament starts in Melbourne. The World No. 1 is looking to break a three-way tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most Grand Slam men's singles titles.
The big picture: Djokovic's visa was revoked twice by Australian officials, who labeled the 34-year-old a public health threat.
- Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement that he exercised his power to cancel Djokovic'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 asked a court for an injunction preventing his removal from Australia.
What he's saying: Djokovic in a statement Sunday said he was "extremely disappointed with the Court ruling[.]"
- "I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country.
- "I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love. I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament."
- Djokovic said he will "rest and to recuperate" before making any more comments.
Catch up quick: Djokovic earlier this month announced that he was traveling to Australia with a medical exemption because he tested positive for COVID in December.
- Upon arriving in Melbourne for the tournament, and after eight hours of airport detention, Djokovic's visa was cancelled by border agents due to his travel application and vaccination status.
- Days later, Djokovic's visa was reinstated on appeal after arguing that his positive test in December superseded the country's vaccination requirement.
- Then, on Friday, officials revoked Djokovic's visa for a second time, prompting the visa appeal.
Go deeper: Timeline: The Djokovic saga