Australian Open: Novak Djokovic still awaiting a decision on his visa and present in the draw

Will leave or will not leave? Novak Djokovic is still in doubt this Thursday. Hopes of the 34-year-old Serbian to win record 21st Grand Slam title more threatened than ever since he admitted to having made “mistakes” in his behavior after testing positive for Covid-19 in December, and completing his entry form to Australia. When the draw was postponed an hour and a quarter and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke up, it was thought that an announcement was going to be made but nothing came. Novak Djokovic is well in the men’s table and the final decision is still awaited as to whether or not to maintain his visa.

A first cancellation of this precious sesame by the authorities was revoked on January 10 by an Australian judge, a decision which caused a stir. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is considering canceling his visa again using his discretionary powers, according to his spokesman, although the player’s lawyers have filed a slew of new documents that have delayed the decision. Australian media, however, said overnight, French hours, that the decision was imminent. It is now evident that we will probably have to wait at least until the evening in France to know its content. Craig Tiley, the director of the Australian Open, did not take any questions from the journalists present at the end of the draw.

Australian Open

Without any guarantee of playing there, Djokovic continues to train in Melbourne

2 HOURS AGO

Without any guarantee of playing there, Djokovic continues to train in Melbourne

A decision in the hours to come?

Mr Hawke was due to announce his decision on Thursday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, which did not give a source. According to the Melbourne Herald Sun, a government official claimed that allowing Djokovic to stay in Australia without being vaccinated against the coronavirus would set a dangerous precedent. This source allegedly claimed that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government should act despite any “negative reaction“international, because the visa cancellation would be in line with Australia’s efforts for months to fight the spread of the virus.

The legal battle that the government is waging in this affair takes on a political character in this country which is among those to have experienced the most draconian restrictions on the planet, and four months away from general elections. “Australian policy is not to allow unvaccinated people to enter its territory. How did we get here is beyond my comprehensionLabor opposition leader Anthony Albanese said Thursday.How is it that Novak Djokovic could have come here? “

Pending verdict, Djokovic trains in Melbourne

The player arrived in Melbourne on January 5, claiming an exemption from the Covid-19 vaccination due to a positive test dated December 16. Immigration officials rejected this waiver request, stating that a recent infection was insufficient reason. They canceled his entry visa and the player was placed in a detention center.

Djokovic admitted “mistakes”

But Djokovic’s legal team succeeded in having this decision overturned on January 10 by a court, on a procedural issue related to his questioning at the airport. On Instagram, the world tennis number 1 on Wednesday admitted “errors“, for not having respected the isolation rules in force in Serbia after his contamination with Covid in December, and for having incorrectly completed his entry form in Australia.

On December 16, the player with twenty major titles also attended the launch of a stamp with his effigy in Serbia. Then he participated in a meeting with young tennis players on December 17 in Belgrade. Photos published by the Serbian Federation show him with officials and around twenty teenagers, all without a mask. “Djoko” claims to have carried out, before this meeting, a second antigen test, also negative. On the other hand, he recognizes an “error of judgment”, that of having received, knowing that he was asymptomatic, the French daily L’Equipe for an interview on December 18.

Djokovic also pleads “human error“for having ticked the wrong box on his entry form to Australia. This document, widely circulated by the Australian media, shows that he has attested not to have traveled in the 14 days preceding his arrival. However, he was, during these two weeks, in Serbia then in Spain.

It should be noted that the government of the State of Victoria, where Melbourne is located, announced Thursday that the public reception capacity at the Australian Open tennis tournament will be limited to 50% due to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in the Melbourne area.

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