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Djokovic was re-arrested in Australia one night before the court, Reuters reported

© Reuters. Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic trains at the Rod Laver Arena before the 2022 Australian Open in Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia on 11 January 2022. Via Kelly Define / Pool REUTERS

Sonali by Paul and Sudipto Ganguly

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic will spend Saturday night in immigration detention before the world’s number one tennis player can stop his deportation and seek a verdict to keep his bid for the 21st title in the Australian Open alive.

He arrived at the Djokovic Park Hotel, the immigration detention hotel where he was arrested last week, before 15:30 (04:30 GMT), according to a Reuters witness.

A dozen refugee activists were shouting as Djokovic and Border Guard guards entered the hotel’s underground garage, which is also being used to support 33 asylum seekers and passengers during the COVID-19 quarantine.

Djokovic will be arrested for the second time, after spending his first four nights in custody at a hotel in Australia before being released by a judge on Monday, after seeing his decision to cancel his visa as unreasonable.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has decided to suspend the visa of Serbian superstars because his presence could boost opposition to the Australian COVID-19 vaccine, court documents released after a first hearing in the Federal Court on Saturday showed.

“While I accept that Mr Djokovic has a low individual risk of transmitting COVID-19 to other people, I believe his presence could be a risk to the health of the Australian community,” Hawke said in a letter to Djokovic. and its legal team.

This explanation of Djokovic’s affidavit is more accurate than Hawke’s brief statement released on Friday, which said his decision was based on “reasons of good health and good order.”

Judge David O’Callaghan set a verdict on Djokovic’s appeal at 9:30 a.m. Sunday (Saturday 2230 GMT), with a single judge or a full court yet to be decided.

Djokovic’s lawyers said on Friday that the exile would increase their feelings against vaccines and that it would be a threat to confusion and public health, and that it would be as much a threat to Australia as exempting all visitors from being vaccinated.

A court order on Friday night handed him over to 34-year-old immigration officials for an interview Saturday morning before taking him to his attorney’s office for a preliminary hearing. After his lawyers left, they were to be taken into immigration detention.

Border Forces and the immigration minister’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether Djokovic had gone to the interview.

The government has said it will not fire Djokovic until he hears his appeal. Djokovic wants to be able to defend his title at the Australian Open, which starts on Monday.


The controversy has overshadowed the usual Grand Slam event, and the players were tired of the saga.

“I’m really a little tired of the situation, because I think it’s important to talk about our sport, tennis,” said Rafa Nadal, a Spaniard who has been tied with Djokovic in 20 major caps, to reporters at Melbourne Park. the ceremony will be played.

German Alexander Zverev, the world number one, has said that Djokovic has been treated unfairly and that the Serb could be used as a political pawn by the Australian authorities, Canberra has denied something.

Djokovic’s medical exemption from vaccination requirements at the Open caused a great deal of outrage in Australia, which has suffered the most severe COVID-19 blockages in the world and where more than 90% of adults are vaccinated, but hospitalization rates remain record.

As global scientists and policymakers are focused on getting as many people as possible to end the pandemic, Djokovic’s refusal to receive the coup has prompted a move against the vaccine, especially in his hometown, Serbia and surrounding countries.

The controversy surrounding the tennis player has become a political touch for Prime Minister Scott Morrison as he prepares for the May elections.

His government has won support at the time of the pandemic’s tough stance on border security at home, but has been criticized for handling Djokovic’s visa application.

Djokovic, in the first round of the Open with Serbian Miomir Kecmanovi, is looking for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title. But instead of hitting Rod Laver Arena on Monday, he could be deported on a flight out of Melbourne.

He has the opportunity to retire and leave Australia on his own.

“The Australian Open is far more important than any player,” said Nadal, who takes Djokovic as his biggest opponent on a tennis court.

“If he’s playing in the end, okay. If he doesn’t play, the Australian Open will be great … with or without him.”

(This story directs the number of major titles to 20, not 21 in paragraph 14)

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