Australian Open 2022: Novak Djokovic gets visa reinstated, but tournament status still unclear


Novak Djokovic can stay in Australia. It is still not clear whether he will be able to play at the Australian Open. The tennis star’s visa was reinstated Monday by Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly. It comes after Djokovic had his visa canceled because authorities said he was not entitled to a medical exemption for a rule that requires non-Australian residents to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter the country.

Djokovic is not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Kelly ruled that the tennis star did not have enough time to speak to his lawyers the day before his visa was canceled. Djokovic then had to quarantine himself at a Melbourne hotel for four days until Monday’s decision was revealed. In addition, Australian medical authorities had previously ruled that a temporary exemption around the COVID-19 vaccination rule could be allowed to people who had been infected with COVID-19 within six months of arrival.

According to the Associated Press, government attorney Christopher Tran told the judge that the immigration minister “will consider whether to exercise personal power to cancel.” This means that if the government pursues further legal action, Djokovic could be kicked out and miss the Australian Open, which is set to start on January 17.

In addition, he would be banned from entering Australia for three years. It all depends on whether other measures are taken.

Djokovic celebrated Monday’s decision by tweet a photo on his own on the courts and ready to train.

Djokovic initially announced that he had obtained a medical exemption from tournament organizers to participate in the Australian Open. But his exemption to participate in the tournament – despite not having been vaccinated – sparked outrage across the country upon his arrival earlier in January, and the situation came to a head last Wednesday.

According to the organizers of the Australian Open, Djokovic received no “special favors” after receiving a medical exemption. Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said 26 unvaccinated players had requested medical exemption and only a “handful” had been granted.

If Djokovic is able to compete in the Australian Open, he has a chance of winning his 21st Grand Slam title. He is currently tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most Grand Slam singles titles in men’s history with 20. Nadal will compete in the Australian Open after recently testing positive for COVID-19 . Federer will not be attending the event as he is recovering from knee surgery.

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