Tennis star Novak Djokovic spent a day confined to a hotel room waiting for a court to deal with the confronting prospect of a possible deportation from Australia.
The 20-time Grand Slam singles winner will spend at least another night there, in immigration detention, as he fights against the deportation move.
With his entry denied and his visa canceled by Australian Border Force officials who rejected his evidence to support a medical exemption for the country’s strict COVID-19 vaccination rules, Djokovic had to trade the practice courts for the courts of law on Thursday.
Novak Djokovic’s visa cancelled by Australia after nine-hour standoff
The nine-time champion’s chance of playing in the Australian Open starting Jan. 17 remains in limbo.
Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly said there was a delay in receiving the application for a review of the visa decisions and the temporary ban on Djokovic’s deportation. A lawyer for the government agreed the 34-year-old Djokovic should not be deported until Friday at the earliest, while the hearing was adjourned until Monday.
Djokovic’s trip was contentious well before he landed, with the conservative federal government and the left-leaning state government of Victoria seemingly having conflicting views over what constituted acceptable medical grounds for an exemption to Australia’s vaccination policy for foreign travelers.
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