Australia Again Rejects Novak Djokovic’s Visa, Moves to Deport Tennis Champ

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic rests at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, January 13, 2022. (Loren Elliott/Reuters)

Australian authorities rejected the visa Novak Djokovic for the second time on Friday over his submission of what they deemed to be a dishonest vaccine medical exemption, moving to deport the Serbian tennis champion despite an Australian court’s ruling in his favor last week.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke acted unilaterally to deny the player’s visa again this month, claiming it would be improper to admit Djokovic given that he may have reported false information on an immigration form about his purported natural immunity from a recent Covid infection.

“In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr. Djokovic,” Hawke said in a statement.

Hawke’s decision likely means Djokovic will be barred from defending his record of victories at the upcoming Australian Open tournament, which he has won nine times and where he seeks a 21st Grand Slam title.

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