Novak Djokovic will play in the first round of the Australian Open in tennis despite the uncertainty about the visa. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government has not yet decided whether to cancel the Serbian tennis player’s entry permit. The previous statement by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke that he is considering canceling the visa “hasn’t changed,” Morrison said. Djokovic, based on the draw and if allowed to remain in Australia, will defend the nine-time Melbourne Open champion title against fellow countryman Miomir Kecmanovic in a match scheduled for Monday or Tuesday.
If the 34-year-old Serbian number one in the world is expelled, his Grand Slam seat will be awarded to a ‘lucky loser’ who lost in qualifiers. But even if Djiokovic was allowed to play, many question his form ahead of a tough two-week tournament after the tensions of these days and four nights spent in a detention center.
The tennis number 1 had his visa canceled on arrival last week when his vaccination exemption was questioned, but won a legal battle that allowed him to stay in the country. He still risks the prospect of expulsion. And the fact that he was forced to admit that he submitted incorrect documentation makes matters worse: according to Australian law, Djokovic risks up to five years in detention for false evidence. However, the government’s decision that has the final say on the case does not necessarily come so quickly.