Novak Djokovic’s participation at this year’s Australian Open has been thrown into doubts after his visa was canceled by Australia’s immigration on public health grounds.
The decision comes after the men’s tennis world number one was drawn against Miomir Kecmanovic in the Australian Open, which is due to begin on Monday.
Djokovic had intended to play in the tournament and defend his title after entering Australia with COVID-19 vaccination exemption, but had his visa canceled for a second time and could face a three-year ban.
Australia’s Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke in a statement confirmed he had cancelled the Serbian’s visa, effectively handing him a deportation notice.
“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” the statement said.
Mr Hawke continued: “This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.
“In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.
“The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added, referring to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
With the situation on ground, the 20-time Grand Slam champion have now been told that he will not be able to secure a visa to Australia for three years, ‘except in compelling circumstances that affect the country’s interest’.