Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

Djokovic back in training after winning appeal to stay in Australia

CoronavirusJan 11, 2022 01:52
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
2/2 © Reuters. A supporter of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic holds his photo during a rally outside the Park Hotel, where the star athlete is believed to be held while he stays in Australia, in Melbourne, Australia, January 9, 2022. REUTERS/Loren Elliott 2/2

By Sonali Paul and Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) -Novak Djokovic was back in training hours after winning a court challenge to remain in Australia on Monday, thanking the judge who released him from immigration detention and saying he remained focused on trying to win a record 21st tennis major.

The fight over the world number one's medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination in order to enter Australia and play may not be over, however, as the government said it was still considering another way to deport him.

"I am pleased and grateful that the judge overturned my visa cancellation," Djokovic wrote on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), where he posted a photograph of himself on court at Melbourne Park after a chaotic few days.

"Despite all that has happened I want to stay and try to compete at the Australian Open."

Judge Anthony Kelly ruled the federal government's decision last week to revoke the Serbian tennis star's visa was "unreasonable", and ordered his release from a modest hotel also used to house scores of asylum seekers.

"Novak is free and just a moment ago he went to the tennis court to practice," Djokovic's younger brother Djordje told a family news conference in Belgrade. "He's out there to set another record."

Djokovic, who arrived in Australia last week, spent most of the day at his lawyers' chambers.

Supporters who had gathered outside chanting "Free Novak!" surged around a black car with tinted windows leaving the building, while police used pepper spray to try to clear a path.

The saga has triggered diplomatic tensions between Belgrade and Canberra, dismayed some Australians enduring a surge in cases, and fuelled domestic political point-scoring.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said he was considering using his discretionary power to revoke Djokovic's visa again. That could mean a three-year ban on re-entering.

"The minister is currently considering the matter and the process remains ongoing," the spokesman said.


Spain's Rafa Nadal, who is tied on 20 majors with Djokovic and Switzerland's Roger Federer, called the fraught build-up to the tournament a "circus".

"Justice has spoken and has said that he has the right to participate in the Australian Open and I think it is the fairest decision," Nadal told the Spanish radio station Onda Cero.

The Australian Open begins on Jan. 17. Djokovic has won the tournament, one of tennis' four Grand Slams, for the last three years and nine times in all.

Czech player Renata Voracova, whose visa was also cancelled, told Reuters she welcomed the decision to let him stay: "Hopefully he can play. Because that is what we went there for: to play tennis and not be part of any inside games."

Former American player turned pundit Pam Shriver warned on Twitter the controversy may not be over: "If he plays the booing will be deafening."

Judge Kelly said he had quashed the decision to block Djokovic's entry because the player had not been given enough time to respond to it.

Officials at Melbourne's airport, where Djokovic had been detained late on Wednesday, reneged on an agreement to give him until 8:30 a.m. to speak to Tennis Australia and lawyers, Kelly said.

The player, who has long opposed mandatory vaccination, told border officials he was unvaccinated and had had COVID-19 twice, according to a transcript of the interview.


Kelly told the court it appeared Djokovic had received the medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination on the basis that he had contracted the virus last month, and had presented evidence of the infection before travelling and on arrival.

"What more could this man have done?" he said.

Kelly's ruling did not directly address the issue of whether the exemption on the grounds of an infection in the past six months was valid, which the government had disputed.

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley has said his organisation had spoken with federal and state officials for months to ensure the safe passage of players. Tennis Australia did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

The authorities' efforts to let the media and public follow events in court at times descended into farce, with pranksters hijacking internet links to stream loud music and porn.

Though news of the ruling was greeted with drums and dancing by around 50 supporters outside the court, public opinion in Australia, where more than 90% of the adult population is double vaccinated, has been largely against the player. Melbourne has experienced the world's longest cumulative lockdown.

Australia has registered more than half a million cases in the past week.

Djokovic back in training after winning appeal to stay in Australia

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
oscar manjo
oscar manjo Jan 11, 2022 2:43
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
well done judge,vaccine shouldn't be by force.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Our Apps
© 2007-2022 Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
  • Sign up for FREE and get:
  • Real-Time Alerts
  • Advanced Portfolio Features
  • Personalized Charts
  • Fully-Synced App
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email