Novak Djokovic News LIVE: Tennis Star Faced With Deportation Threat Amid False Reports Serbian Arrested

Novak Djokovic has won his appeal against a decision to refuse him a visa in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia ahead of the Australian Open. The Australian government tried to push the hearing back by 48 hours but a court order by Judge Anthony Kelly said it had been “refused without prejudice” and that the case would be heard at 10am on Monday.

The case centred around whether Australia’s government and border force made errors in their handling of Djokovic’s visa and their decision to revoke it. The Serbian claimed he satisfied the requirements for a medical exemption because he contracted Covid-19 in December. After lengthy testimony Judge Kelly moved to quash the original decision and ordered the 34-year-old be released from detention immediately.

Djokovic has been in detention in a quarantine hotel in Melbourne ever since Thursday but was allowed to leave to watch these proceedings elsewhere alongside his legal team and will now be allowed to enter Australia.

Follow all the latest news and reaction from Djokovic’s hearing below.

Novak Djokovic latest news and updates

  • Novak Djokovic wins appeal against visa cancellation

  • Government considering exercising ‘personal power’ to cancel visa again

  • Djokovic could be banned from Australia for three years if successful

  • Proceedings delayed by technical difficulties with video stream

  • Djokovic allowed out of detention to watch court hearing

  • Andy Murray calls saga ‘really bad for tennis'

  • Djokovic interview with Border Force in Melbourne released

  • Reports that Djokovic has been arrested have been rubbished by local media

Why Djokovic won his case

06:47 , Ben Burrows

As predicted it was Djokovic’s experience at the airport upon arrival in Australia that proved key to his case.

Judge Kelly ruled that border control didn’t give Djokovic enough time to respond after notifying him of their intent to not grant him a visa with the world number one unable to contact his agent or legal representation.

The government admitted as much ending their case.

Djokovic is now free to enter Australia, pending further intervention from authorities, with the Australian Open a week away.

Clarification of four hour decision time

10:50 , Sarah Rendell

Earlier today it was reported Australia’s immigration minister Alex Hawke had four hours to make a decision on re-cancelling Djokovic’s visa.

However, it’s now being suggested that would only apply if Djokovic was re-interviewed. That hasn’t happened and so the government have time to make a decision on the star’s visa status.

Djokovic wants to remain in Australia for the Australian Open which begins on 17 January.

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Rafael Nadal slams Novak Djokovic ‘circus’ ahead of Australian Open

10:40 , Sarah Rendell

Rafael Nadal has said Djokovic’s visa situation has developed into a “circus” ahead of the Australian Open in a week’s time.

The world no. 1 won his appeal to stay in Australia earlier today but could see more government intervention with a re-cancellation of his visa in coming days.

Nadal, who is competing at the tournament, told Spanish radio station Onda Cero: “Whether or not I agree with Djokovic on some things, justice has spoken and has said that he has the right to participate in the Australian Open and I think it is the fairest decision to do so, if it has been resolved that way.

“I wish him the best of luck. On a personal level, I’d much rather he didn’t play!”

Rafael Nadal slams Novak Djokovic ‘circus’ ahead of Australian Open

Decision to re-cancel Djokovic’s visa “ongoing”

10:34 , Sarah Rendell

Reports suggest Australia’s immigration minister Alex Hawke has confirmed the decision to re-cancel Djokovic’s visa are “ongoing”.

That means Djokovic will be free this evening but further interventions could be made in the coming days. Just moments ago a car was seen leaving the CBD tower where Djokovic has been since his appeal hearing.

It’s unclear if the world no. 1 was in the car.

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Reports suggest police use pepper spray on Djokovic fans

10:24 , Sarah Rendell

Reports have suggested police have pepper sprayed Djokovic fans after they blocked a car which Djokovic was believed to be in.

The car left the CBD tower, where Djokovic is, and was surrounded by supporters. Police began to move people away from the car but they reportedly shoved officers and verbally abused them. At this point police allegedly pepper sprayed them.

It’s not known if Djokovic was actually in the car.

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Djokovic’s appeal decision

10:19 , Sarah Rendell

Djokovic won his appeal this morning to stay in the Australia in order to compete at the Australian Open, which starts 17 January.

While the government could still challenge the decision and re-cancel his visa, it’s being reported the decision won’t be made today.

For a recap on the appeal, read the story below:

Novak Djokovic court case LIVE updates: Serbian tennis star to play in 2022 Australian Open after visa cancellation overturned

Djokovic to be “free” this evening

10:09 , Sarah Rendell

The Age are reporting the government won’t take action today against Djokovic which means he’ll be free. They are able to take the action in coming days and so the situation won’t be over once today is up.

The immigration minister Alex Hawke was given four hours after the appeal to re-cancel his visa but the publication are reporting the decision will be taken as early as tomorrow morning.

Kyrgios tests positive for Covid

10:03 , Sarah Rendell

In other Australian Open news, Nick Kyrgios has tested positive for Covid just a week before the Open is due to begin.

“Hey everyone, I just want to be open and transparent with everyone, the reason I have had to pull out of Sydney is because I tested positive for Covid.

“I am feeling healthy at the moment with no symptoms. I wish everyone all the best and to stay safe where you can. If all goes well I will see you at the Australian Open.”

Nick Kyrgios tests positive for Covid-19 a week before Australian Open

Djokovic could be banned for three years

09:55 , Sarah Rendell

Djokovic did win his appeal earlier today to stay in Australia but the country’s immigration minister could still re-cancel his visa.

The action could also see the star banned from Australia for three years. This would not be an automatic ban, with the government maintaining already that they could permit Djokovic to return for the Australian Open in 2023 should they succeed in cancelling his visa again.

Read the full story:

Novak Djokovic could be banned from Australia for three years despite winning appeal

Djokovic’s interview with Border Force revealed

09:47 , Sarah Rendell

Djokovic’s interview with Border Force has been revealed during his appeal earlier today.

In them he confirms he is not vaccinated but that he was given a visa on the basis he had Covid in December. “I had Covid twice,” Djokovic explains. “I had Covid in June 2020 and I had Covid recently in – I was tested positive – PCR –16th of December 2021.”

He later adds: “I sent the blood analysis for my antibodies and had a sufficient amount and I was granted the access to Australia and I received the documentation that supported my medical exemption and the travel declaration coming from the federal government.”

‘I am not vaccinated’: Novak Djokovic’s tense interviews revealed

More reactions to Djokovic verdict

09:41 , Sarah Rendell

Djokovic won his appeal to stay in Australia earlier today and people across the tennis and political world have been reacting to the result.

Former Australia PM Kevin Rudd said: "(Scott) Morrison just lost his case against #Djokovic. Total incompetence! Like on everything else. If they seriously didn't want him, why on earth did they give him a visa to fly here? This was conceived as one giant distraction strategy when out in the real world people can't get tested."

And ex-Australian Open chief Paul McNamee added: "Djokovic has had his day in court, with all the evidence presented, and comprehensively won ... let's respect the court's decision and move to the other court where sport is played."

 (PA)
(PA)

Nadal reacts to Djokovic’s appeal win

09:34 , Sarah Rendell

Rafael Nadal has spoken about Djokovic’s appeal win and said “justice has spoken”.

The Spaniard is equal to Djokovic on grand slam wins and both will vie to take the record in men’s tennis at the Australian Open which begins on 17 January.

He said: "Whether or not I agree with Djokovic on some things, justice has spoken and said he has the right to participate in the Australian Open and ... it's the fairest decision to do so, if it has been resolved that way. I wish him the best of luck.

"On a personal level, I'd much rather he didn't play (laughs)... It's all so much better when the best players are on the court competing."

Meanwhile, the star’s former mentor Niki Pilic said his chances of winning the Open have been lowered by the “ordeal”.

"This whole ordeal was unnecessary. He was given the green light by Tennis Australia and doctors to play in the tournament and that's when politics came in. If they revoked his visa now, I believe it would reflect poorly on Australia.

"Winning the Australian Open under the best circumstances is difficult, but Novak is a champion. I can't say what his chances are after what he has endured, but I am sure he will be happy to just be on the court and start preparing for the tournament."

Fans gather outside CBD tower

09:29 , Sarah Rendell

Djokovic’s fans have gathered out the CBD tower, where the star currently is, to celebrate his victory.

There are chants of “free Nole”. So far the government haven’t made any more interventions to his stay in Australia but the immigration minister can still decide to re-cancel his visa. Djokovic won his appeal earlier today.

If action isn’t taken, Djokovic will play at the Australian Open in a week’s time.

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Arrest reports “not true"

09:24 , Sarah Rendell

There have been multiple reports that Djokovic has been arrested but credible source The Age have rubbished the claims.

They say they have four government sources that have confirmed the star has not been arrested and there are no Border Force or federal police officers at the CBD tower, where Djokovic is.

Further to this, the immigration minister is still deciding whether to re-cancel his visa. Djokovic won his appeal to stay in Australia today due to his treatment at a Melbourne airport.

Djokovic fans celebrate result

09:09 , Sarah Rendell

Djokovic’s supporters have shown their delight at their hero winning his appeal this morning by playing tennis in Melbourne’s Fed Square.

If no more government intervention is seen today the star will play at the Australian Open, which starts on 17 January. Djokovic is the defending champion and if he retains his title he will set a record for most grand slam wins in men’s tennis.

It’s believed the government have a matter of hours to take more action or Djokovic is free to stay in Australia.

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Djokovic: More on police presence

09:00 , Sarah Rendell

Photos have been taken of police at the offices of Djokovic’s lawyers but there are conflicting reports as to why they are there.

Some journalists believe it is to arrest the star but other are saying it’s because of the amount of media outside the building. Nothing has yet been confirmed and the tennis player is believed to still be in the building.

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08:58 , Sarah Rendell

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“There has been sleepless night for our family"

08:54 , Sarah Rendell

Djordje Djokovic, Novak Djokovic’s youngest brother, has spoken to Serbian TV Prva saying the situation has been troubling for the whole family.

The star won his appeal earlier today but he could be further disrupted by the government with latest reports suggesting he will be arrested.

“Sleepless nights for the whole family,” he said. “We are going through very difficult moments and Novak has shown how persistent he is, how much he believes in his ideals, that he is a great man.

"He fought the fight not just for himself but for the whole world. On the other hand, we have the system in Australia which has decided in favour of all the facts and there was no reason for another decision, and now we are getting information that clearly the Home Affairs Minister is above the court

“Definitely this is politics, this has all been politics. We are active on all social media. The latest information is they want to incarcerate him. At the moment we are consulting lawyers and PR people.

“Novak is with his lawyers in rooms where the hearing was held, and he is currently considering all options. This was a great defeat for Australian authorities, and they are taking this badly.”

Tennis players “should be vaccinated"

08:47 , Sarah Rendell

Former tennis star Roger Taylor has said he believes players travelling the world should have the vaccine.

In court documents provided at the hearing it was confirmed Djokovic has not had the Covid vaccine and so relied upon having the virus to enter Australia. Djokovic won his appeal earlier today due to his treatment at Melbourne’s airport.

“The whole thing is a technicality, it’s an error by the border force,” he told Sky. “The decision of whether he should be playing with or without a vaccination hasn’t been cleared up. As far as I’m concerned I believe in vaccination. I’m vaccinated. I think anyone who is playing tennis and travelling around the world is going to have to be vaccinated.”

When did Djokovic test positive?

08:37 , Sarah Rendell

The hearing has confirmed that Djokovic tested positive on the 16 December which means when he attended an event on 17 December he had Covid.

The photos which have come to light on social media see the world no. 1 maskless at the event. This suggests the star broke rules as he should have been quarantining at home.

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Nick Kyrgios tests positive for Covid to cast doubt on Australian Open appearance

08:31 , Jack Rathborn

“Hey everyone, I just want to be open and transparent with everyone,” Kyrgios wrote on an Instagram story.

“The reason I have had to pull out of Sydney is because I tested positive for COVID. I am feeling healthy at the moment with no symptoms.

“I wish everyone all the best and to stay safe where you can.

“If all goes well I will see you all at the Australian Open.”

Djokovic: Arrest reports

08:28 , Sarah Rendell

There are reports suggesting Djokovic is being arrested as Australia’s immigration minister has four hours to re-cancel his visa. Djokovic won his appeal to stay in Australia earlier today but could be met with further intervention from the government.

The latest information, which hasn’t been confirmed, is that law enforcement are at the office of Djokovic’s lawyers.

More on this as it develops.

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Novak Djokovic waiting at lawyers’ office in Melbourne’s CBD

08:27 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic is believed to be inside the CBD tower above its carpark off King Street on the western side of Melbourne’s CBD.

His lawyers, at their Melbourne office, have been joined by about a dozen Victoria Police officers and several private security guards, according to Sydney Morning Herald.

Novak Djokovic ‘arrested’ after winning appeal over visa, says father

08:21 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has been arrested according to his father Srdjan Djokovic.

The Serbian is at his lawyers’ office, with 7NEWS Melbourne reporting he is set to be rearrested.

The immigration minister retains the right for a discretionary call on Djokovic's visa, taking over from the home affairs minister running the court case.

Djokovic wins his appeal

08:19 , Sarah Rendell

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic has won his appeal to stay in Australia and the decision came down to his treatment upon arrival in Melbourne.

Authorities could further prevent him from staying in the country and latest reports suggest he has been arrested. That news has not yet been confirmed.

If Djokovic does stay he has a week to prepare for the Australian Open which starts on 17 January. He will be targeting a 21st Grand Slam win which would be a record in men’s tennis.

Novak Djokovic wins appeal against deportation from Australia

Novak Djokovic confirms positive Covid test dates and vaccination status

08:10 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic confirmed he has tested positive for Covid-19 on two occasions and that he is not vaccinated to Border Force in interviews from documents surrounding his visa appeal.

Djokovic claimed he tested positive for Covid-19 on 16 December and returned a negative test on 22 December.

INTERVIEWER: So the interview is being recommenced at 5.20am. Okay - I have already served you with the notice of intention to consider cancellation and at the moment you need – what have you have advised me is that you need rest and up to 8/8.30. And that’s when you would be able to speak to your solicitor again.

DJOKOVIC: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: And get some more information.

DJOKOVIC: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: So that’s absolutely fine, because I have spoken to my supervisors and they’re more than happy to - - -

DJOKOVIC: Okay great.

INTERVIEWER: - - - for you to have rest. So any more questions?

DJOKOVIC: No more questions for now.

INTERVIEWER: So what’s going to happen is, because I’m going to be finishing my shift, so this case is going to be handed over to another team. Another case officer is going to come out, and speak to you. They’ll introduce themselves - - -

DJOKOVIC: Okay.

Judge

Anthony Kelly claims that deal was then “reneged”, with interviewer 2 coming in at 6.07am and telling Djokovic no responses could mean “a decision might be made based on the information that’s at hand now”.

The interviewer then tells Djokovic he will be transported to a hotel by government contractor Serco.

DJOKOVIC: Well as I said before, I just, what I can say is that, I’m surprised that there is insufficient information on the very reason why I was granted the medical exemption by Victorian state independent medical panel which confirmed that I have fulfilled the criteria to enter Australia based on, based on the criteria that they have imposed which is not on the paper which you read to me and that is if you had encountered or had a positive Covid PCR test in the previous six months, and you can provide the negative PCR test and the sufficient amount of antibodies, then you are granted access and that’s exactly what happened in the whole process. So we provided -- I provided medical documentation, on 16 November, I was positive on PCR, PCR test positive COVID-19, 22nd I was negative. I sent the blood analysis for my antibodies and had a sufficient amount and I was granted the access to Australia and I received the documentation that supported my medical exemption and the travel declaration coming from the federal government.

INTERVIEWER: Okay. Is there anything else you would like to add?

DJOKOVIC: No.

Novak Djokovic reportedly arrested after winning visa appeal

08:09 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has reportedly been arrested, according to his father.

The Serbian player was released from detention earlier today after winning his appeal over the cancellation of his visa.

And now reports suggest Djokovic has been arrested.

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Novak Djokovic won his appeal based on procedural fairness, Australian government claims

08:00 , Jack Rathborn

The Australian government maintain that Novak Djokovic won his appeal based on procedural fairness.

They have said though, according to The Age in Australia, that they do not believe Djokovic has valid vaccination exemption, hence the potential to cancel his visa on this basis alone.

Allen Cheng of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) maintains prior infection has never been valid as a travel exemption.

Andy Murray lampoons Nigel Farage with cutting tweet over Novak Djokovic saga

07:53 , Jack Rathborn

Andy Murray has mocked Nigel Farage with a cutting tweet after the former politician celebrated Novak Djokovic’s successful appeal against deportation from Australia.

Djokovic’s legal team won their case for the Serbian star to remain in the country, after his visa was initially revoked by the Australian Border Force and the player was caught up in an international diplomatic storm.

Djokovic has publicly stated his position against vaccinations in the past and has not had the Covid-19 vaccine, but claims to have tested positive for Covid in mid-December which made him exempt from Australia’s strict policy on visitors being vaccinated before entering the country.

Andy Murray lampoons Nigel Farage with cutting tweet over Novak Djokovic saga

Novak Djokovic could be banned from Australia for three years despite winning visa appeal

07:45 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic could still be banned from Australia for three years despite winning his visa appeal court case.

Djokovic was released to Australia on Monday evening in Melbourne, but the federal minister for immigration maintains the government may pursue further powers to cancel the Serbian’s visa again.

Christopher Tan, the lawyer acting for the government, he told the court that the Minister for Immigration is now contemplating “personal power of cancellation”.

Should the government pursue that process and succeed though, it would raise the prospect of the Serbian being banned from Australia for three years.

Judge Anthony Kelly thanked Mr Tan for the warning, adding: “I could have been something approaching incandescent if I had discovered that for the first time... this evening or the early hours of tomorrow.”

Novak Djokovic could be banned from Australia for three years despite winning appeal

Novak Djokovic interview with Border Force in Melbourne released

07:39 , Jack Rathborn

An interview between Novak Djokovic and Border Force has been released following the court hearing:

INTERVIEWER: Thank you. So when I ask you what were your reasons for travelling to Australia today?

DJOKOVIC: I’m a professional tennis player and the main reason for me coming to Australia is participating in the Australian Open in Melbourne, Victoria.

INTERVIEWER: Thank you. Now question regarding your vaccination, are you vaccinated - - -

DJOKOVIC: I am not vaccinated.

INTERVIEWER: - - - for COVID-19? Not vaccinated?

DJOKOVIC: I am not vaccinated.

INTERVIEWER: Thank you. Have you ever had COVID?

DJOKOVIC: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: So when did you?

DJOKOVIC: I had COVID twice, I had COVID in June 2020 and I had COVID recently in – I was tested positive – PCR –16th of December 2021.

Murray mocks Farage over Djokovic support

07:24 , Ben Burrows

Nigel Farage, who had earlier tweeted from Belgrade, said the Australian Government would “look dreadful” if it cancelled Djokovic’s visa a second time.

The former UKIP leader is with Djokovic’s family as they celebrate the result of today’s hearing.

Andy Murray, who earlier suggested the whole saga was “really bad for tennis”, saw fit to take to social media to question how a visit to Serbia squared with some of Farage’s political policies.

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Morrison under pressure after Djokovic verdict

07:13 , Ben Burrows

The whole Djokovic saga became very political with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison under pressure to get it right.

This decision by the Federal Court is only likely to increase that now.

His political rivals are already queueing up criticise.

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Novak Djokovic spotted leaving immigration detention centre

07:11 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has been spotted leaving the immigration detention centre where he has been staying in Melbourne before winning his appeal against the cancellation of his visa.

The Serbian was driven away at the latest 5:46pm local time (6:46am GMT) after judge Anthony Kelly ordered his release within half an hour from 5:16pm local time (6:16am GMT).

 (AFPTV/AFP)
(AFPTV/AFP)
 (AFPTV/AFP)
(AFPTV/AFP)

Judge Kelly: ‘The stakes have now risen rather than receded'

07:03 , Jack Rathborn

Despite Novak Djokovic winning his appeal to quash the cancellation of his visa, as outlined below with the government’s intent to pursue exercising a personal power to still cancel the visa, judge Anthony Kelly concludes this is not the end of the story.

“The stakes have now risen rather than receded,” he said.

“I cannot purport to encroach on the valid exercise of a minister of executive power.”

Novak Djokovic released from detention

06:56 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic should have been released from detention now, given Judge Anthony Kelly ordered his release no more than half-an-hour after quashing the visa cancellation.

Judge Kelly made that order at 5:16pm local time (6:16pm GMT), so Djokovic has likely been released at the latest 10 minutes ago (5:46pm local time or 6:46am GMT).

Novak Djokovic visa appeal: What happens next?

06:42 , Jack Rathborn

We have heard that immigration minister Alex Hawke can now step in to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa on new grounds.

Should the government pursue that process it would raise the prospect of the Serbian being banned from Australia for three years if his visa is cancelled.

Government may move to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa again

06:35 , Jack Rathborn

While Novak Djokovic has won his visa appeal, the federal minister for immigration maintains they may pursue further powers to cancel the Serbian’s visa again.

This development comes just moments after the Federal Circuit Court judge overturned the original decision to cancel it.

And it has been confirmed by Christopher Tan, the lawyer acting for the government, after he told the court that the Minister for Immigration is now contemplating “personal power of cancellation” despite Judge Anthony Kelly overturning the Minister for Home Affairs’ decision to cancel the visa.

Judge Kelly subsequently thanked Mr Tan for the warning: “I could have been something approaching incandescent if I had discovered that for the first time... this evening or the early hours of tomorrow.”

Novak Djokovic wins visa appeal

06:29 , Ben Burrows

Judge Anthony Kelly quashed the visa cancellation and ordered the Australian Government to pay legal costs and release Djokovic from detention within half an hour.

Government counsel Christopher Tran notified the court that the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs - not the minister who made the original visa cancellation - will now consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation of Djokovic’s visa.

Novak Djokovic wins visa appeal

06:27 , Ben Burrows

Djokovic has been detained at an immigration facility in Melbourne since Thursday morning after his visa was cancelled following scrutiny of the medical exemption for the Covid vaccine he had secured to travel to the first tennis major of the year.

The Serbian’s legal team filed papers to appeal against border control’s original decision confirming that Djokovic tested positive for Covid last month and recovered.

He used that as grounds in applying for a medical exemption to Australia’s strict vaccination rules.

The decision at a hearing on Monday by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia means Djokovic, a nine-time champion, means he will now have the chance to defend his 2021 title.

Novak Djokovic wins visa appeal

06:20 , Ben Burrows

Novak Djokovic has won his case.

Judge Anthony Kelly has quashed the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa and has ordered that the world tennis number one will be allowed to stay in Australia.

He will have his passport returned to him with Judge Kelly ordering that he be released from immigration detention immediately.

Murray mocks Farage’s Djokovic support

06:05 , Ben Burrows

Nigel Farage has given his backing to Djokovic in his ongoing battle to gain entry to Australia.

The former UKIP leader is in Belgrade with Djokovic’s family as they wait on the result of today’s hearing.

Andy Murray, who earlier suggested the whole saga was “really bad for tennis”, saw fit to take to social media to question how a visit to Serbia squared with some of Farage’s political policies.

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What’s happened so far and what’s to come

05:38 , Ben Burrows

The court hearing which will decide whether Novak Djokovic is allowed to enter Australia and defend his Australian Open title is underway in Melbourne.

The men’s world number one was denied entry to the country last Thursday after border officials refused to grant him a visa.

Djokovic’s vaccination status was key with his contention that a recent positive Covid test was enough for a medical exemption not enough to get through the country’s strict immigration rules.

He has been held in detention ever since but has been allowed out to follow these proceedings today alongside his legal team.

The deadline to deport the nine-time and defending Australian Open champion was 4pm local time today, but Judge Anthony Kelly has agreed to extend it.

Nicholas Wood, representing Djokovic, has made his oral submissions on behalf of his client this morning with Christopher Tran, representing the state today, set to set out his counter case shortly.

Government to set out case

06:06 , Ben Burrows

Christopher Tran, representing the Karen Andrews and, by extension, Australia, will set out his case when the hearing resumes.

Key to the government's argument will be that a positive test - as Djokovic recorded last month - is not actually a basis for a medical exemption from Covid vaccination for "a non-citizen of Australia".

Djokovic's experience at the airport upon arrival in Melbourne is also likely to be crucial.

Upon arriving in the country, Djokovic claims that he asked for extra time to speak to his agent and his lawyers and that his request was granted before he was woken up at 6am and urged to agree to the visa cancellation as it was in his best interest to do so.

His legal team say this advice was "spurious" and "manifestly unjust".

Judge Anthony Kelly has shown sympathy to Djokovic's case and earlier questioned “what more could this man have done?” upon his arrival though how much difference that ultimately makes in the final decision remains to be seen.

Morrison responds to Tiley comments

05:25 , Ben Burrows

At a press conference, Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison was asked by a reporter to respond to comments from Tennis Australia chief executive Tiley stating he was given conflicting government advice on medical exemptions.

Morrison said: “Our government, the federal government’s advice to Tennis Australia, that was set out very clearly in November, as I read the extract from this very podium, it could not be more clear.”

Tennis Australia blame ‘constant conflict'

05:15 , Ben Burrows

Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley has blamed “constant conflict” in advice from state and federal government for the causing the debacle.

Tiley, who is also the tournament director, says the federal government rejected two requests in November to examine exemption cases for unvaccinated players before they arrived in the country.

“We asked if they could please assess our decisions,” he told reporters in Australia. “They declined.

“We said we’re going to need some help to make sure we’re doing the right thing. We’d be in a different situation today.

“We were caught in this constant conflict between state and federal (advice) and this pandemic has highlighted that complexity.”

Djokovic’s parents support from Serbia

05:05 , Ben Burrows

Novak Djokovic’s parents joined a rally of support for their son in his native Serbia on the eve of today’s crucial court hearing.

“Today is a big day. Today, the whole world will hear the truth,” Djokovic’s mother, Dijana Djokovic, told the crowd in downtown Belgrade.

“We hope that Novak will come out as a free man. We send great love to Novak. We believe in him, but also in the independent judiciary in Melbourne,” she added.

Djokovic’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, said “this is happening because we are only a small part of the world, but we are proud people.

“They can’t break us. Novak is the personification of freedom, everything human that one man contains in himself. Shame on them!”

Dijana said that the conditions in the hotel in Melbourne where Djokovic is staying are “not humane.”

“He doesn’t even have breakfast,” she said. “He has a wall to stare at and he can’t even see a park in front or go out of the room.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

04:56 , Ben Burrows

We are - finally - back underway.

Christopher Tran, here on behalf of the federal government, begins by reminding Judge Anthony Kelly that the deadline to deport Djokovic from Australia is 4pm Australian time (5am UK).

Kelly then extends it until 8pm local time before we are treated to another temporary adjournment.

Djokovic leaves detention in Melbourne

04:42 , Ben Burrows

It is been reported in Australia that Djokovic has left detention to follow this hearing at an undisclosed location.

Djokovic was instructed by Judge Anthony Kelly to be temporarily allowed to leave detention in order for him to watch these proceedings from somewhere other than the Park Hotel in Melbourne where he has been ever since he was denied entry into the country back on Thursday.

Kelly says that Djokovic should stay with his legal representatives “until the conclusion of each hearing and to secure his safe return to detention upon the conclusion of each hearing”.

Melbourne’s The Age report he has now left but it is not known where Djokovic has gone to. Wherever he is, he can remain there until the conclusion of the hearing, however long that may be.

Court hearing set to resume

04:33 , Ben Burrows

Despite suggestions the hearing would resume by 3.15pm in Melbourne it appears it has now been pushed back.

We can now expect proceedings to get back underway around 3.45pm, so in a little under a quarter of an hour.

As we’ve told you, Christopher Tran, representing the Australian state today, will begin arguing his case when they do.

Djokovic fans in full voice

04:25 , Ben Burrows

Djokovic’s fans have come out in force to support their hero despite rising temperatures in Melbourne today.

It’s 28 degrees downtown but more than a hundred supporters gathered outside the Federal Court as they wait see whether their man will win his case.

Local reports suggest they were in good voice too singing various songs and dancing, although many have now retreated to the shade as the proceedings go on into the afternoon.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Court hearing set to resume after lunch break

04:12 , Ben Burrows

The court hearing which will decide whether Novak Djokovic is allowed to enter Australia and defend his Australian Open title is set to resume after a short adjournment for lunch.

The men’s world number one was denied entry to the country last Thursday after border officials refused to grant him a visa.

Djokovic’s vaccination status was key with his contention that a recent positive Covid test was enough for a medical exemption not enough to get through the country’s strict immigration rules.

He has been held in detention ever since but has been allowed out to follow these proceedings today alongside his legal team.

Nicholas Wood, representing Djokovic, has made his oral submissions on behalf of his client this morning with Christopher Tran, representing the state today, set to begin arguing his case shortly.

It looks set to centre on Djokovic’s experience at Melbourne airport and the border official’s handling of his case. Judge Anthony Kelly earlier questioned “what more could this man have done?” upon his arrival.

Got all of that? Yes? Lovely. Then off we go.

 (BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
(BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Victoria defends role in Djokovic saga

03:58 , Ben Burrows

This situation has shed light on the differences in policy between Australia and the states within Australia.

Victorian health minister Martin Foley says the role of his state in this whole saga has always been clear.

“Once you’re approved to get into the country, we had an independent, arm’s length process that compared anonymously - without any identifying features - the expert medical considerations as to whether you are eligible to play in a tournament,” he said in a press conference on Monday.

“Not whether you are eligible to get [into the] country. We determine who enters a tournament in partnership with Tennis Australia, we don’t determine who gets a visa.

"Only one level of government determines that visa, and it’s not the Victorian government.”

Live stream issues pose problem for ‘open justice'

03:42 , Ben Burrows

Media lawyer Justin Quill claims the live streaming problems that have beset these proceedings so far pose a threat to just how “open” the hearing is.

“The risk is high that if the technology fails you have zero open justice, you have secret justice,” he says.

“And in a case like this, that can lead to rumours, speculation and innuendo about what’s really going on.

“That sentiment comes directly from a precedence about the importance of maintaining open justice even when to do so causes great difficulty.”

Timeline of saga so far

03:33 , Ben Burrows

A reminder of how we got to this point where the world’s best tennis player’s participation in the first grand slam of the year is being decided by a group of lawyers over a Zoom link.

The nine-time champion in Melbourne was denied entry to Australia on Thursday last week and has been kept at a state-run quarantine hotel in the suburb of Carlton ever since, with the Australian Border Force denying the 34-year-old any preferential treatment.

The saga has become a major diplomatic incident with Australians furious that Djokovic, who has openly opposed vaccinations, was granted an exemption to enter the country.

Meanwhile, Serbian politicians have fiercely criticised the actions of the Australian authorities, accusing Scott Morrison’s government of attempting to persecute and humiliate Djokovic.

Here’s a timeline of how we got to this point.

Timeline of Novak Djokovic’s visa saga in Australia

Djokovic’s airport experience likely to prove key

03:11 , Ben Burrows

Djokovic's experience at the airport upon arrival in Australia is likely to prove key to his case.

A tired and confused Djokovic claims that he asked for extra time to speak to his agent and his lawyers and that his request was granted before he was woken up at 6am and urged to agree to the visa cancellation as it was in his best interest to do so.

His legal team say this advice was "spurious" and "manifestly unjust".

It is being argued that this treatment by border officials when he arrived in Melbourne was unfair and, if deemed to be so, could be the basis of him winning the verdict.

Australia outlines counter-arguments

03:07 , Ben Burrows

Ahead of the adjournment for lunch Christopher Tran, representing the state in these proceedings, has outlined how he will argue his case after the break.

It looks set to centre on Djokovic’s experience at Melbourne airport and the border official’s handling of his case.

Tran says he will use a handful of cases - including two where he himself argued and lost - to make his arguments.

Tomic ‘praying for a good outcome'

02:55 , Ben Burrows

Djokovic has some support from within tennis as well as from fans around the world.

Close friend Bernard Tomic says he's "praying for a good outcome" from today's hearing.

"I have made him aware that I will be praying for a good outcome whatever that may be," the Australian said.

Australia begin their submissions

02:40 , Ben Burrows

Christopher Tran is now up, arguing for the state against Djokovic.

He will have around half an hour to speak before the court breaks for lunch.

Tran begins by returning to Djokovic’s experience at the airport once more and making it “crystal clear” that border officials present upon his arrival did not intend to put any pressure on him.

Judge Kelly suggests that the evidence doesn’t suggest Djokovic was pressured but that that doesn’t “kill the point” that he may have felt he was.

Djokovic’s legal team conclude oral submissions

02:37 , Ben Burrows

Djokovic’s legal team have concluded their oral submissions.

They have argued that their client should have been and should now be granted entry to Australia for next week’s Australian Open, where the Serbian is the defending champion.

We will later soon hear the counter argument from the legal team representing Australia in these proceedings, who will make the case that the decision made last week to deny the men’s world number one a visa was the correct - and legal - course of action.

It is expected we will get a verdict today, although proceedings are already running longer than originally anticipated.

Australian border requirements are ‘black and white'

02:22 , Ben Burrows

Australian deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce says requirements for entry to the country are "black and white"

“It was made quite clear by the health minister Greg Hunt that having Covid-19 is not enough, you have to be double vaccinated,” he said ahead of today's hearing.

He also insisted that everyone, Djokovic included, is treated the same and no one gets any special treatment.

“We will do what’s right and we will do what follows the process. We are not making special exemptions for people because they’re rich and famous, that’s not how Australia works,” he added.

“It was made quite clear by the Federal Government that you had to have had the double vaccination and the health minister made that absolutely black-and-white clear.”

Djokovic given permission to leave detention

02:11 , Ben Burrows

It is being reported in Australia that Djokovic has been instructed by Judge Anthony Kelly to be temporarily allowed to leave detention in order for him to watch these proceedings from somewhere other than the Park Hotel in Melbourne.

He says that Djokovic should stay with his legal representatives “until the conclusion of each hearing and to secure his safe return to detention upon the conclusion of each hearing”.

It is not stated where Djokovic is watching this hearing from.

Djokovic’s legal team argue their case

02:05 , Ben Burrows

Nick Wood, representing Djokovic in this hearing, claims that the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation say that a valid reason for an exemption is for "an acute major medical condition" which a "PCR confirmed infection” qualifies.

It has already been established that Djokovic tested positive for Covid sometime last month which, according to Wood, means his client would qualify for an exemption to enter the country.

Djokovic’s brother hits out treatment

01:54 , Ben Burrows

Novak Djokovic's brother has again spoken out against the treatment of the world number one while he is being detained in Melbourne.

“He is in a room that is facing another wall,” Djorde Djokovic told Serbian media. “Probably to prove him that they’re stronger”.

Tennis Australia have come in for heavy criticism for the situation but Djordje has suggested they - and boss Craig Tiley - are not to blame.

“I think Tennis Australia did a good job,” he added. “People should not go after Craig Tiley, because he made an effort and tried, although it’s a big mistake if there were holes in the communication.”

Djokovic’s rivals prepare for Australian Open

01:45 , Ben Burrows

From a purely tennis point of view, this last few days are the last thing Djokovic needed before he hopes to be able to defend his Australian Open title.

Ever since being denied entry to the country last week the world number one has been confined to a quarantine hotel with little or no exercise possible and less than optimal nutrition.

It's a far cry from his usual pain-staking preparations.

Meanwhile, rival Rafael Nadal returned from injury to play his first tournament since August, the Melbourne Summer Set, a won it with victory over USA’s Maxime Cressy in Sunday’s final.

Elsewhere, Daniil Medvedev, who beat Djokovic in the US Open final last year, and Alexander Zverev both got some much needed court time with Russia and Germany in the ATP Cup.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Djokovic’s legal team make their case

01:33 , Ben Burrows

As the hearing continues here’s a reminder of what Djokovic’s legal team are attempting to argue.

They claim the Serb was granted a vaccine exemption to enter Australia because he contracted Covid-19 last month.

In court documents published on Saturday, it was stated Djokovic recorded a positive test on December 16, and has “not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 in the last 72 hours”.

According to his legal team, Djokovic was also provided with a letter from the Chief Medical Officer of Tennis Australia recording he had a medical exemption from Covid vaccination.

It is claimed that the exemption certificate was “provided by an Independent Expert Medical Review panel commissioned by Tennis Australia”, and that “the decision of that panel had been reviewed and endorsed by an independent Medical Exemptions Review Panel of the Victorian State Government”.

Live stream of court hearing continues to be down

01:22 , Ben Burrows

The feed of the court hearing continues to be down with more technical difficulties.

The video stream of proceedings wasn’t accessible to the general public for around 45 minutes after the scheduled start time of 10am in Melbourne and there is currently another outage now.

We are assured that the feed will return soon.

Djokovic ‘ticked every box'

01:13 , Ben Burrows

Djokovic's legal team says that their client made the declaration he was required to make and provided evidence to back it up even though he wasn't required to.

Nick Wood, representing Djokovic, says this amounts to all the requirements for quarantine-free entry into Australia.

He adds that in the transcript of conversations at the border, Djokovic was confused as to why he was being denied entry to the country.

"Any reasonable person would assume they had ticked every box," he says.

‘What more could Djokovic have done?'

00:55 , Ben Burrows

Judge Kelly says a “matter that has really preoccupied me” is why Tennis Australia's documentation was not accepted by the delegate at the border making the decision on Djokovic’s visa.

"Here, a professor and an eminently qualified physician have produced and provided the applicant a medical exemption," he says.

"Further to that, that medical exemption and the basis on which it was given was separately given by a further independent expert specialist panel established by the Victorian state government and that document was in the hands of the delegate.

"The point I am agitated about is ‘what more could this man have done?’"

Feed of court hearing goes down

00:54 , Ben Burrows

We are currently waiting for the feed to come back after more technical difficulties.

For those who weren’t with us earlier, the feed wasn’t accessible to the general public for around 45 minutes after the scheduled start time of 10am in Melbourne.

There are apparently too many people trying to access the Zoom link over which the hearing is taking place.

Court hearing underway to decide Djokovic’s fate

00:45 , Ben Burrows

The hearing is now well up and running and is being witnessed by the general public after those earlier technical difficulties.

Djokovic’s legal team are presenting evidence as to why their client should have been and should still be allowed into Australia to compete at the Australian Open.

The tournament starts a week today.

The commonwealth will in turn, via their own legal representative, make their case as to why their original decision - to deny Djokovic entry into the country, was the correct - and legal - course of action.

Djokovic attempted to assist border officials

00:31 , Ben Burrows

Djokovic made a written statement to confirm he had a medical exemption for being vaccinated against Covid before he boarded his flight to Australia from Dubai.

Djokovic's legal team claim that he did not then have to provide evidence why he was exempt, only that he would do so when required to.

Judge Kelly points to written evidence that Djokovic offered to assist those at the border.

"If you let me talk to people even though you've taken my phone from me, I will try and give you what you want," Djokovic is said to have stated.

00:18 , Ben Burrows

Judge Kelly says that the decision to deny Djokovic a visa came down to the fact it was decided that his presence was "a risk to the health, safety or good order of the Australian community".

Wood contends that this is a “confusing blend of two grounds”. Kelly doesn't agree.

00:12 , Ben Burrows

A reminder of today’s players.

Judge Anthony Kelly is presiding over the hearing and will, ultimately, be the one who decides Novak Djokovic’s fate.

Djokovic’s legal team comprises Nick Wood and Paul Holdenson. Christopher Tran is representing home affairs minister Karen Andrews and, by extension, Australia.

Djokovic and Andrews, the central characters in this saga, won’t be speaking.

Djokovic case could cost Australians thousands

Sunday 9 January 2022 23:58 , Ben Burrows

Justin Quill, a partner at Thomson Geer Lawyers, believes this case could cost Australian taxpayers thousands of dollars in fees.

"Novak Djokovic, if he wins this case, he'll seek his costs," he told The Project on Sunday night.

"If they win tomorrow, $250,000 to the government lawyers, probably a couple of hundred thousand to Novak to pay his legal fees.

"We're getting close to half a million and that's just if there's no appeal."

Djokovic’s team being quizzed by judge

Sunday 9 January 2022 23:56 , Ben Burrows

Djokovic’s legal team of Nick Wood and Paul Holdenson are being questioned by Judge Anthony Kelly about the timeline of events that led to the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa and, specifically, when they were notified of the intention to cancel it.

Judge Kelly tells Wood to “drag yourself back to the last century - I hate acronyms.”

“There’ll be no Noics, there’ll be no Oinks or anything else of that nature.”

So that’s at least something settled so far.

Court hearing begins despite video stream problems

Sunday 9 January 2022 23:44 , Ben Burrows

The hearing has now started - although nobody outside of the hearing itself can see it.

The technical difficulties remain and are still being worked on but the lawyers working on behalf of Djokovic and the Australian government have begun their work.

Both parties have between 90 and 120 minutes to make their cases before a judge will make a final decision.

Djokovic claims medical exemption from Covid vaccination

Sunday 9 January 2022 23:42 , Ben Burrows

According to his legal team, Djokovic was provided with a letter from the Chief Medical Officer of Tennis Australia recording he had a medical exemption from Covid vaccination.

It is claimed that the exemption certificate was "provided by an Independent Expert Medical Review panel commissioned by Tennis Australia", and that "the decision of that panel had been reviewed and endorsed by an independent Medical Exemptions Review Panel of the Victorian State Government".

Djokovic's lawyers added that he was granted an "Australian Travel Declaration" because he was told by the authorities that [he met] the requirements for a quarantine-free arrival into Australia".

Djokovic could remain detained even if he wins appeal

Sunday 9 January 2022 23:32 , Ben Burrows

The latest wrinkle in proceedings to emerge today is that Djokovic could still remain in detention in Australia even if he wins his appeal against the cancellation of his visa.

“An order for immediate release does not prevent re-detention if there is power to detain,” a document released by Australia’s Home Affairs Department on Sunday read.

There is also no guarantee Djokovic will be able to play in the tournament that begins next week, even if he does succeed today.

The government claim they have the power to make “another cancellation decision” in that scenario. Stay tuned.

Murray calls Djokovic saga ‘really not good for tennis at all’

Sunday 9 January 2022 23:20 , Ben Burrows

Former British number one Andy Murray has expressed concern for the Serbian and says his predicament is “really not good for tennis at all”.

“I think everyone is shocked by it, to be honest,” five-time Australian Open finalist Murray told reporters in Australia.

“I’m going to say two things on it just now. The first thing is that I hope that Novak is OK. I know him well, and I’ve always had a good relationship with him and I hope that he’s OK.

“The second thing, it’s really not good for tennis at all, and I don’t think it’s good for anyone involved. I think it’s really bad.”

Court hearing delayed by technical difficulties

Sunday 9 January 2022 23:16 , Ben Burrows

The hearing itself was meant to begin at 10am Melbourne time (11pm UK) but is yet to start because of technical difficulties.

The court say they are aware and are working to rectify the situation.

As if we needed any more drama.

Djokovic vaccine views spark controversy

Sunday 9 January 2022 23:05 , Ben Burrows

Djokovic’s views on vaccines are a subject of much controversy.

In April 2020 Djokovic said that he was opposed to vaccines. He later clarified that he was “no expert” but that he wanted to explore other options.

During a Facebook event he said he “wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine” to travel to tournaments, and that he was “curious about wellbeing and how we can empower our metabolism to be in the best shape to defend against imposters like Covid-19.”

Rival Rafael Nadal says Djokovic knew there would be “consequences” of his decision.

“I went through the Covid, I have been vaccinated twice. If you do this, you don’t have any problem to play here. That’s the only clear thing,” the Spaniard said this week.

“The only for me clear thing is if you are vaccinated, you can play in the Australian Open and everywhere, and the world in my opinion have been suffering enough to not follow the rules.

“He made his own decisions, and everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences,” he added of Djokovic.

“Of course I don’t like the situation that is happening. In some way I feel sorry for him. But at the same time, he knew the conditions since a lot of months ago, so he makes his own decision.

“The only thing that I can say is I believe in what the people who know about medicine says, and if those people say that we need to get vaccinated, we need to get the vaccine.”

What to expect at the Djokovic hearing

Sunday 9 January 2022 22:58 , Ben Burrows

Right then, the hearing is set to get underway and this is what we can expect.

The judge presiding is Judge Anthony Kelly. The lawyers for Djokovic are Nick Wood SC and Paul Holdenson QC. The lawyer acting on behalf of home affairs minister Karen Andrews is Christopher Tran. Djokovic himself will not be present.

Djokovic's side will argue that the original visa decision is invalid on a number of grounds and should be overturned.

The government will argue the opposite and that Djokovic did not provide adequate evidence for quarantine-free entry to Australia.

Both parties are set to give oral submissions virtually that are expected to be between 90 and 120 minutes.

There are then four possible outcomes.

Djokovic wins the case and is allowed to stay and play at the Australian Open.

He could also not win the case but with no immediate decision from the hearing could be given special permission to stay and play while a decision is made.

He could also not lose the case but also not be given permission to stay and he subsequently leaves the country. He could lose the case and be deported from Australia immediately.

Got all that? Right, on we go.

 (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Australian Open chief blames ‘challenging environment'

Sunday 9 January 2022 22:45 , Ben Burrows

Australian Open chief Craig Tiley on Sunday blamed conflicting and quickly changing directives in a "challenging environment" for the confusion that resulted in Novak Djokovic being refused entry to Australia on a medical exemption.

Tiley refused to apportion blame for the saga over Djokovic's exemption from the mandate that people entering the country be vaccinated against coronavirus.

He said Tennis Australia had engaged in discussions with federal and Victoria state officials for several months in order to ensure the safe passage of players into the country.

"We are not going to lay the blame at anyone," Tiley said. "All I can say is that, primarily because there is (so) much contradictory information the whole time, every single week we were talking to home affairs, we were talking to all parts of government to ensure that one, we were doing the right thing, and the right process with these exemptions.

"The conflicting information, and the contradictory information we received, was because of the changing environment. We are in a challenging environment."

Djokovic one of two players detained

Sunday 9 January 2022 22:33 , Ben Burrows

Djokovic was one of two players put into detention in the hotel that also houses refugees and asylum seekers. A third person, reported to be an official, left the country voluntarily after border force investigations.

The other player was 38-year-old doubles specialist Renata Voracova, who had already been in Australia for a week before an investigation by the border officials. The Czech foreign ministry said Voracova voluntarily left Australia after deciding not to appeal the decision.

The court hearing on Monday will determine whether Djokovic is not far behind her.

 (Getty Images for LTA)
(Getty Images for LTA)

Djokovic visa row becomes political issue in Australia and afar

Sunday 9 January 2022 22:15 , Ben Burrows

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, who said "rules are rules" and that incoming passengers were responsible for meeting border regulations, has been accused of taking advantage of Djokovic's case to improve his battered standings in popularity polls ahead of a looming election.

Djokovic's plight has prompted claims from Serbia that Djokovic is being treated like a prisoner.

The player himself appears to have become a standard-bearer for anti-vaccine groups, including some people who've gathered outside for support outside his immigration hotel.

Australian Open organisers have been been taking some heat over the Djokovic situation, and with apparent good reason.

Tennis Australia, which runs the tournament and organizes the logistics for more than 2,000 incoming players, staff and officials, reportedly gave incorrect interpretations to players about the acceptable grounds for an exemption.

That included the interpretation that having had a coronavirus infection within the previous six months would qualify. Organizers have blamed the federal government for its mixed messages on the policy.

Details of court documents emerge

Sunday 9 January 2022 21:55 , Ben Burrows

Australian media have reported details of the court documents expected to entered into testimony on Monday.

It showed Djokovic received a letter from Tennis Australia's chief medical officer on 30 December "recording that he had been provided with a 'medical exemption from Covid vaccination' on the grounds that he had recently recovered from Covid."

It said Djokovic's first positive test was 16 December and, on the date of issue, the exemption said the 34-year-old player "had not had a fever or respiratory symptoms in the past 72 hours."

Djokovic attended a 17 December event in Belgrade honoring young tennis players. The event was covered by local media, and parents posted photos on social media showing Djokovic and the children not wearing masks. It's not clear if Djokovic knew the results of his test at the time.

On 14 December, Djokovic had attended a Euroleague basketball game between Red Star and Barcelona in a packed sports hall in Belgrade.

He was photographed hugging several players of both teams, including some who soon later tested positive.

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Djokovic’s family hold rally of support

Sunday 9 January 2022 21:37 , Ben Burrows

In Serbia on Saturday, Djokovic’s family held a rally in support of him in Belgrade for the third successive day, and prime minister Ana Brnabic assured him of her government’s support over his visa battle to ensure he can enter Australia and defend his Australian Open title.

The tournament begins 17 January - just a week from his court date.

“We’ve managed to make sure gluten-free food is delivered to him, as well as exercising tools, a laptop and a SIM card so that he is able to be in contact with his family,” Brnabic said.

It comes as Australian media reported that immigration officials denied a request to have Djokovic’s personal chef cook meals for him in the immigration hotel.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Australian government fail in attempt to delay case

Sunday 9 January 2022 21:20 , Ben Burrows

On Sunday, Australian media reported that a federal government bid for extra time to prepare its case against Djokovic was denied.

The application, made on behalf of home affairs minister Karen Andrews during the weekend, sought to adjourn the final hearing by two days — just five days from the start of the Australian Open.

Federal circuit court judge Anthony Kelly refused the application and the case will resume on Monday as planned.

Njokovic set for his day in court

Sunday 9 January 2022 21:06 , Ben Burrows

Right then, this is where we’re at with Djokovic set to get his day in court in a little under two hours time.

Djokovic had his visa canceled after arriving at Melbourne airport last week when Australian border officials ruled that he didn’t meet the criteria for an exemption to an entry requirement that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated for Covid.

His lawyers have since filed court papers in his challenge against deportation from Australia that show Djokovic tested positive for Covid last month and recovered. He used that as grounds in applying for a medical exemption to Australia’s strict vaccination rules.

The case is scheduled for a virtual hearing to appeal the visa cancellation. It will take place at 10am local time in Melbourne in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Novak Djokovic: Timeline of tennis star’s visa saga in Australia

Sunday 9 January 2022 20:45 , Jamie Braidwood

Novak Djokovic’s entry into Australia has made headlines across the world and the story is set to take another twist tonight. Here is a timeline of how the saga has unfolded so far:

Timeline of Novak Djokovic’s visa saga in Australia

Australian government fails in bid to delay visa hearing

Sunday 9 January 2022 20:28 , Jamie Braidwood

In case you missed it earlier, the Australian government has failed in a bid to delay Novak Djokovic’s visa hearing until after the Australian Open draw is finalised.

In an order published on Sunday, Judge Anthony Kelly rejected the submission by home affairs minister Karen Andrews to push tonight’s hearing to Wednesday.

Djokovic’s lawyers have claimed the Serb was granted a vaccine exemption to enter Australia because he contracted Covid-19 last month.

Djokovic’s fans on edge as hearing looms

Sunday 9 January 2022 20:11 , Jamie Braidwood

Novak Djokovic’s parents joined a protest rally in downtown Belgrade on Sunday with their tennis-great son still in an Australian immigration detention hotel as fans of Djokovic in Serbia nervously awaited a crucial court hearing which could decide whether he can play at the Australian Open.

The virtual hearing in Melbourne with Djokovic appealing his visa cancellation, comes amid a growing public debate over his positive coronavirus test that his lawyers used as grounds in applying for a medical exemption to Australia’s strict vaccination rules.

Djokovic’s Serb fans on edge as Australia visa hearing looms

Djokovic’s defence case

Sunday 9 January 2022 19:47 , Lawrence Ostlere

Djokovic’s lawyers have claimed the Serb was granted a vaccine exemption to enter Australia because he contracted Covid-19 last month.

In court documents published on Saturday, it was stated Djokovic recorded a positive test on December 16, and has “not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 72 hours”.

Djokovic has been detained at an immigration facility in Melbourne since Thursday morning after his visa was cancelled following scrutiny of the medical exemption he had secured to travel to the first tennis major of the year.

According to his legal team, Djokovic was also provided with a letter from the Chief Medical Officer of Tennis Australia recording he had a medical exemption from Covid vaccination.

It is claimed that the exemption certificate was “provided by an Independent Expert Medical Review panel commissioned by Tennis Australia”, and that “the decision of that panel had been reviewed and endorsed by an independent Medical Exemptions Review Panel of the Victorian State Government”.

Government bid to delay Djokovic hearing rejected

Sunday 9 January 2022 19:27 , Lawrence Ostlere

The Australian government’s efforts to delay Djokovic’s hearing failed. Full story:

Australian government fails in bid to delay Novak Djokovic visa hearing

Barty wins Australian Open warm-up

Sunday 9 January 2022 19:11 , Lawrence Ostlere

World number one Ashleigh Barty underlined her Australian Open credentials by claiming victory at the Adelaide International 1 warm-up event.

The Wimbledon champion eased past seventh seed Elena Rybakina 6-3 6-2 on Sunday to wrap up her 14th WTA singles title in just 64 minutes.

Australian Barty is favourite to triumph on home soil when the first grand slam of 2022 begins in Melbourne a week on Monday.

Ashleigh Barty warms up for Australian Open with Adelaide title

Andy Murray speaks out on Djokovic saga

Sunday 9 January 2022 18:48 , Lawrence Ostlere

Andy Murray: “I think everyone is shocked by it to be honest. I’m going to say two things on it just now. The first thing is that I hope that Novak is OK. I know him well, and I’ve always had a good relationship with him and I hope that he’s OK.

“It’s really not good for tennis at all, and I don’t think it’s good for anyone involved.”

Full story:

Andy Murray speaks out on Novak Djokovic situation that has left players ‘shocked’

Djokovic profile

Sunday 9 January 2022 18:23 , Lawrence Ostlere

The world No 1’s attempts to play this month’s Australian Open is the latest saga in a career that has been underpinned by dogged self-belief – wherever that leads.

How Novak Djokovic became a tennis star always seeking to walk his own path

Djokovic former coach criticises star

Sunday 9 January 2022 18:01 , Lawrence Ostlere

The former head coach of the Serbia Davis Cup team, Bogdan Obradovic, has panned the actions and approach of Novak Djokovic.

He clarified that he has no relationship with the current star, having endured a falling out after leaving the international team scene in 2017 - and claims Djokovic’s plant-based diet is nothing more than an “experiment” which he doesn’t understand.

“I have zero contact with Novak. I have no contact with Novak. Nor do we wish each other a happy New Year, or Christmas, children’s birthdays, nothing… For what reason and why? The moment I left the national team, we got into a conflict.

“To this day I believe I was right.

“Novak is surrounded by some extreme nonsense. He went into such an experiment of something that he doesn’t even know what it’s about.”

PTPA in touch with Djokovic

Sunday 9 January 2022 17:37 , Lawrence Ostlere

The Professional Tennis Players Association say they have been in contact with Novak Djokovic and called on Australia to allow both vaccinated and unvaccinated athletes to be allowed to partake in the Australian Open, pending “approved medical exemptions”.

A statement read: “The PTPA has been in close contact with Mr. Djokovic, his family and legal counsel, government officials, and Australian Open leadership. Mr. Djokovic has verified his well-being to us. He has also requested that we allow him to personally share the facts of his detainment in his own words, and in his own time.

“With the utmost respect for all personal views on vaccinations, vaccinated athletes and unvaccinated athletes (with an approved medical exemption) should both be afforded the freedom to compete.

“We will continue to support and advocate for our members, and all players, in a manner that is acceptable to them.”

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website

Source : https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/novak-djokovic-news-live-court-043904883.html

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