Judge Overturns Novak Djokovic’s Visa Cancellation: Athlete ‘Pleased and Grateful’

The tennis star will compete in the Australian Open.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Novak Djokovic won his visa appeal against the Australian government on Monday, FOX News reports.
  • Australian Federal Court quashed the government’s decision to cancel the Serbian tennis star’s visa on Monday, ending his detention and appearing to clear the path for him to play in the Australian Open.
  • His lawyer argued that the tennis star had met all government requirements before flying to the country to compete in the Australian Open, according to The New York Times.
  • Djokovic had been held in a Melbourne hotel since Thursday, when he was detained at an airport after a dispute over a medical exemption from being vaccinated against coronavirus, Forbes reports.
  • “I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation,” Djokovic tweeted. “Despite all that has happened,I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen.”
  • “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,” he concluded.
WHAT THE JUDGE SAID:
  • On Monday, Anthony Kelly, the federal court judge overseeing Djokovic’s appeal, noted during the hearing that his visa application had included a medical exemption from a physician, supported by an independent panel convened by the Victoria state government, The Times reports.
  • “The point I’m somewhat agitated about is, what more could this man have done?” Judge Kelly said.
DJOKOVIC’S MOTHER CLAIMS SON SUBJECTED TO “TORTURE”:
  • “He was subjected to torture, to harassment and we will hear even more about what he had to go through,” said Djokovic’s mother, according to a BBC translation of the press conference from Belgrade.
  • “And of course, he fought against that system and against the government because he thought he had the right to be there with a visa that he got.”
  • “We had no idea whether he was ill or whether he had eaten. Justice has prevailed today. This is the biggest win of his career. It is bigger than any of the grand slams he has won,” she also said.
  • His father, Srdjan, said his son had his “human rights taken away,” also claiming his son was not allowed to contact his friends, his team or his lawyers.
BACKGROUND:
  • Court documents show Djokovic is unvaccinated, Forbes notes, and that he applied for an exemption from Australia’s strict traveler guidelines by claiming he was recently infected.
  • However, his claim was questioned by critics who pointed out he was spotted out in public on a date he supposedly was infected with coronavirus.