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Djokovic again for an additional night time in Australia detention earlier than courtroom listening to

Serbian tennis participant Novak Djokovic practices on Rod Laver Enviornment forward of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park, in Melbourne, Australia, January 11, 2022. Kelly Defina/Pool by way of REUTERS

MELBOURNE—Novak Djokovic will spend Saturday night time in immigration detention earlier than the world’s tennis primary seeks a courtroom ruling to cease his deportation and hold alive his bid for a document twenty first main title on the Australian Open.

Djokovic arrived on the Park Lodge, the identical immigration detention resort the place he was held final week, simply earlier than 3:30 pm (0430 GMT), based on a Reuters witness.

A couple of dozen refugee activists have been chanting as Djokovic and Border Power guards drove into the underground storage of the resort, which can also be getting used to carry 33 asylum seekers and vacationers in COVID-19 quarantine.

Will probably be a second stint in detention for Djokovic, who spent his first 4 nights in Australia in resort detention earlier than a decide freed him on Monday after discovering a call to cancel his visa on arrival had been unreasonable.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke determined to cancel the Serbian celebrity’s visa as a result of his presence might foster opposition to COVID-19 vaccination in Australia, courtroom paperwork launched after an preliminary listening to within the Federal Courtroom on Saturday confirmed.

“Though I … settle for that Mr Djokovic poses a negligible particular person threat of transmitting COVID-19 to different individuals, I nonetheless take into account that his presence could also be a threat to the well being of the Australian group,” Hawke stated in a letter to Djokovic and his authorized workforce.

This clarification in Djokovic’s affidavit is extra detailed than the temporary assertion Hawke launched on Friday, which stated his resolution was based mostly on “well being and good order grounds.”

Justice David O’Callaghan set a listening to on Djokovic’s attraction for 9:30 a.m. on Sunday (2230 GMT on Saturday), with the query of whether or not it will be held earlier than a single decide or a full courtroom nonetheless to be decided.

Djokovic’s legal professionals stated on Friday they might argue deportation would solely additional fan anti-vaccine sentiment and could be as a lot a menace to dysfunction and public well being as letting him keep and exempting him from Australia’s requirement that every one guests be vaccinated.

A courtroom order on Friday night time had required the 34-year-old to give up to immigration officers for an interview on Saturday morning, earlier than he could be taken to his legal professionals’ officers for the preliminary listening to. After leaving his legal professionals, he was to be taken into immigration detention.

Border Power and the immigration minister’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to requests for touch upon whether or not Djokovic had attended the interview.

The federal government has stated it will not deport Djokovic till his attraction has been heard. Djokovic needs to have the ability defend his title on the Australian Open, which begins on Monday.


The controversy has overshadowed the normal build-up to the Grand Slam occasion, and gamers have been tiring of the saga.

“Truthfully I’m little bit bored with the scenario as a result of I simply consider that it’s essential to speak about our sport, about tennis,” Spaniard Rafa Nadal, who’s tied on 20 main titles with Djokovic, advised reporters at Melbourne Park, the place the occasion can be performed.

German Alexander Zverev, the world quantity three, stated Djokovic had been handled unfairly and that the Serb might need been used as a political pawn by Australian authorities, one thing Canberra has denied.

Djokovic’s medical exemption from vaccine necessities to play the Open prompted huge anger in Australia, which has undergone some the world’s hardest COVID-19 lockdowns and the place greater than 90% of adults are vaccinated, however hospitalization charges proceed to hit document highs.

With international scientists and policymakers centered on vaccinating as many individuals as attainable to finish the pandemic, the refusal of Djokovic to get the jab has fueled the anti-vaccination motion, particularly in his native Serbia and surrounding nations.

The controversy over the tennis participant has develop into a political touchstone for Prime Minister Scott Morrison as he prepares for an election due by Could.

His authorities has gained assist at dwelling for its powerful stance on border safety in the course of the pandemic, however it has confronted criticism for its dealing with of Djokovic’s visa software.

Djokovic, scheduled to play fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovi in the primary spherical of the Open, is searching a record-breaking twenty first Grand Slam title. However as an alternative of hitting Rod Laver Enviornment on Monday, he could possibly be deported on a flight out of Melbourne.

He has the choice of withdrawing and leaving Australia of his personal accord.

Australian Open is way more essential than any participant,” stated Nadal, whom Djokovic considers his biggest rival on a tennis courtroom.

“If he’s taking part in lastly, OK. If he’s not taking part in, Australian Open can be nice … with or with out him.”

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