Why was Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa cancelled again and what happens now?

The world number one faces an appeal hearing on Sunday with his first-round match scheduled for the following day

Eleanor Crooks
Saturday 15 January 2022 16:45
Comments
Martina Navratilova tells Djokovic to ‘suck it up’ and ‘go home’
Leer en Español

Novak Djokovic’s battle to compete in the Australian Open has taken another turn after his visa was cancelled for a second time.

After four days of deliberation, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke decided to use his personal powers and reimpose the penalty on the world number one after it was overturned by a judge on Monday.

But the parties have already been back in court and a resolution to this saga will not come until Sunday at the earliest.

Here, we answer the key questions regarding the situation and looks at what happens next.

Why has the decision been taken?

Hawke cited “health and good order grounds” and said he believed it was in the public interest to send Djokovic home.

The decision to overturn the initial revocation was made because the border force did not follow procedure rather than because the judge concluded they did not have grounds.

Interestingly, Djokovic’s lawyer claimed Hawke’s call was based primarily on the potential to excite the anti-vax movement if the Serbian is allowed to stay.

What happens now?

Supporters of Novak Djokovic gathered outside the Park hotel during his time there (Mark Baker/AP)

Djokovic was not detained on Friday night but will be on Saturday morning before a meeting with immigration officials.

He will then be able to spend time with his lawyers building a case before being taken to a detention hotel – possibly the Park again – for Saturday night ahead of the hearing on Sunday.

What are Djokovic’s chances?

His lawyers are seeking the same outcome as the first hearing but it will be more difficult because the grounds for a successful appeal are much narrower in this case.

This hearing will be held in front of a different judge at the Federal Court of Australia.

Could he still play in the Australian Open?

Theoretically yes. His first match against countryman Miomir Kecmanovic has been scheduled for Monday, meaning a successful appeal decided on Sunday would give him enough time.

But even Djokovic would surely struggle to get himself in the right physical and mental state to compete at a grand slam given the events of the last week and a half.

What happens if he loses the appeal?

Andrey Rublev could potentially be moved into Djokovic’s spot in the draw (John Walton/PA)

Djokovic would be deported and the Australian Open draw would need to be rejigged.

Should the decision come before an order of play for Monday is announced – which is just about feasible – the seeds would be moved and fifth seed Andrey Rublev would take Djokovic’s place.

Should it come after, a lucky loser would slot in, unbalancing the top section of the draw.

Are there other implications?

Yes.

Should Djokovic be deported, he could be banned from entering Australia for three years, although that penalty can be waived.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in