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Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return to Marin Cilic of Croatia during the 2021 Davis Cup Finals semifinal in Madrid on Dec. 3. Photo: Meng Dingbo/Xinhua via Getty Images

Lawyers for Novak Djokovic said in a court filing Saturday that the tennis star received a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine and could play in the Australian Open because he had tested positive for the virus in December.

Driving the news: The court filing comes as Djokovic quarantines in a hotel in Melbourne after being denied entry into Australia. Border authorities said that they canceled Djokovic's visa because he failed to provide "appropriate evidence" for his medical exemption from vaccine requirement.

Djokovic's lawyers said that he received a medical exemption on Dec. 30 from the chief medical officer of Tennis Australia "on the grounds that he had recently recovered from COVID," per the court document published by Australia's Federal Circuit.

  • Djokovic, who tested positive for the virus on Dec. 16, believed that the conditions of the exemption were aligned with the recommendations of Australia’s immunization advisory body, the lawyers argued.
  • "Mr. Djokovic understood that he was entitled to enter Australia and Victoria and to compete in the Australian Tennis Open."
  • Djokovic has a hearing scheduled for Monday on his appeal of the government's decision to revoke the decision.
  • Djokovic, who said in June 2020 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, had not previously disclosed his December positive test result, per the New York Times.

What they're saying: The lawyers argued that Australian authorities "radically and fundamentally" misapplied guidance from Australia’s immunization advisory body about whether an infection within the past six months should offer an exemption from the vaccination requirement.

Go deeper: Australia denies entry to Novak Djokovic over vaccine exemption

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2022 - Sports

Australian appeals court to hear Novak Djokovic’s case on Sunday

Novak Djokovic plays a forehand during a practice session ahead of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Jan. 13 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Graham Denholm via Getty Images

An Australian appeals court will hear arguments in Novak Djokovic's visa cancellation case on Sunday.

Why it matters: The unvaccinated tennis player faces possible deportation from Australia after officials revoked his visa for a second time on Friday, citing public health interests. He is set to play his first match in the Australian Open on Sunday.

Updated Jan 14, 2022 - Sports

Australia cancels Novak Djokovic's visa again

Novak Djokovic during a practice session for the 2022 Australian Open n Melbourne, Australia, on Friday. Photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

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.

Updated 34 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.