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Novak Djokovic included in Australian Open draw as visa decision looms

Novak Djokovic included in Australian Open draw as visa determination looms | Tennis Information

Tennis world No.1 Novak Djokovic was included within the Australian Open official draw on Thursday, though uncertainty remained about whether or not the federal government will cancel the highest seed’s visa for a second time. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is weighing exercising his discretionary powers to revoke Djokovic’s visa over issues in regards to the celebrity’s medical exemption from Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination necessities.
Djokovic, who was out training on Rod Laver Area earlier on Thursday, drew unseeded fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic for his opening spherical match, anticipated to be performed on Monday or Tuesday. Organizer Tennis Australia had delayed the official draw for greater than an hour, with out clarification.
Djokovic, a vaccine skeptic, fuelled widespread anger in Australia final week when he introduced he was heading to Melbourne for the Australian Open with a medical exemption from necessities for guests to be inoculated in opposition to COVID-19. On his arrival, Australian Border Drive officers determined his exemption was invalid and he was held alongside asylum-seekers at an immigration detention lodge for a number of days.
High seed and nine-time #AusOpen champion  @DjokerNole begins his title defence in opposition to Miomir Kecmanovic.#AO2022
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 13, 2022
A courtroom on Monday allowed him to remain on the grounds that officers had been “unreasonable” in the best way they dealt with his interview in a seven-hour course of in the midst of the evening. The Australian authorities, which has received sturdy assist at house for its powerful stance on border safety earlier than and through the pandemic, should now determine whether or not to let Djokovic stay and bid for a file twenty first main title.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison declined to touch upon Djokovic’s visa on Thursday.
Djokovic’s trigger was not helped by a mistake in his entry declaration, the place the field stating he had not travelled overseas within the two weeks previous to leaving for Australia was ticked. In actual fact, he had gone to Spain from Serbia.
Djokovic, 34, attributed the error to his agent and acknowledged he additionally ought to have rescheduled an interview and photoshoot for a French newspaper on Dec. 18 whereas contaminated with COVID-19. Followers, together with many Serbian Australians, gave him noisy assist when he was detained, anti-vaxxers have hailed him as a hero and his household has portrayed him as a champion for particular person rights.
However Djokovic could face hostility from the group if and when he walks out on the courtroom. There may be widespread anger over the saga amongst Australians, who’ve a 90% vaccination fee amongst adults and are battling a wave of the Omicron variant after enduring a number of the world’s longest lockdowns aimed toward curbing the pandemic.
“I do not like his conceitedness,” Teyhan Ismain, a Melbourne resident, mentioned on Wednesday.
“It does appear that he is been telling a number of fibs too. So I believe he ought to simply in all probability return.”
There may be resentment within the dressing room, the place all however three of the highest 100 males are inoculated.
Tennis nice Martina Navratilova informed Australian tv Djokovic ought to “suck it up” and return house. “The underside line is, generally your private beliefs should be trumped by what’s good for the higher good, for these round you, to your friends,” she informed Seven’s Dawn program. “You might have two decisions, get vaccinated or simply do not go play.”

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