Novak Djokovic has ended an extraordinary day in Melbourne back on a tennis court and with his sights set on next week’s Australian Open after winning an appeal against his visa cancellation.
The world No1 tennis player had spent four days in an immigration detention centre after being refused permission to enter Australia due to being unvaccinated. However on a day of high drama, that decision was overturned following a seven hour hearing, leaving a jubilant Djokovic free – for now – to focus on winning a record 21st grand slam title.
Djokovic later thanked the judge in a tweet alongside a photograph that showed him on court at the Rod Laver Arena, on the site of the Australian Open.
“I’m pleased and grateful that the judge overturned my visa cancellation,” he wrote. “Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete at the Australian Open.”
“I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans.”
However there may yet be a further twist in the tale. Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, has confirmed that he is considering the use of discretionary powers to deport Djokovic, with his decision expected later this week.
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