Novak Djokovic (35, Serbia, photo), the world No. 1 player in men’s pro tennis, became a ‘hot potato’ ahead of the start of the Australian Open, the first major tournament of the 2022 season. This is because his visa to enter Australia was canceled on the 5th due to not being vaccinated against the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19). Djokovic currently holds the record for most major wins in 20 majors, along with rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Tennis fans were inevitably shocked as the superstar, who was about to start such a big project, was unable to participate due to not being vaccinated.
However, a variable has arisen. Djokovic won a lawsuit filed by the Australian government against the decision to revoke his entry visa. Judge Anthony Kelly of the Australian Circuit and Family Court accepted Djokovic’s request to revoke the Australian government’s decision to revoke an entry visa on Monday. The hearing was conducted via video connection, and Djokovic’s lawyer and the government each held arguments for two hours each. Djokovic said he was not obligated to vaccinate because he recovered from COVID-19 last month. On the other hand, the Australian government countered that the obligation to vaccinate foreign nationals would not disappear even if they became infected with COVID-19 according to its quarantine rules.
At one point, access to the system was disrupted due to the intense attention of anti-vaccine opponents around the world, and Djokovic was victorious in the end. This opened the way for Djokovic, who was on the verge of being deported, to the Australian Open. He was denied entry at Melbourne airport on the 5th and was quarantined in a hotel, a detention facility for deportees, until just before the hearing on that day.
However, despite the court’s decision, it is still unclear whether Djokovic will participate in the tournament. That’s because the Australian government has said it will consider canceling his visa in other ways. As a result, tennis fans around the world are paying keen attention to whether Djokovic will actually be able to participate in the tournament starting on the 17th.
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