Novak Djokovic, world number one in men’s tennis, was once again placed in custody by immigration officials in Melbourne, Australia’s Aap news agency reported. Although the Serbian tennis star’s visa was canceled a second time on Friday, Djokovic was only arrested after being heard by immigration officials on Saturday. A gray off-road vehicle and a white van left his lawyer’s office just before 3:00 pm.
The Serbian champion, who is in Melbourne to compete in the Australian Open, for the Canberra government, cannot obtain an exemption from the vaccination requirements required to stay and “work” in Australia. On the contrary: Djokovic, not being vaccinated, could pose a risk to public health, according to the Australian authorities.
A procedural hearing on Djokovic’s visa case was held on Saturday morning: the Serbian champion filed an appeal against his second visa cancellation after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke canceled it. The tennis player cannot be expelled while the legal dispute is in progress. At Saturday’s hearing, lawyers debated whether the case should be held before more than one judge. The hearing was then adjourned to Sunday, while the Australian Open will begin on Monday. Judge Anthony Kelly of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia had referred the case to the Federal Court in an emergency hearing Friday after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke canceled the tennis player’s visa.
“The Australian Open is much more important than any player,” commented Spanish champion Rafael Nadal. “I’m a little tired of the situation. If he eventually plays, okay. If he doesn’t play, the Australian Open will be a great tournament, with or without him, ”added Nadal, interpreting the thoughts of many other colleagues on the circuit, among other things.