Court dismisses Djokovic visa appeal

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge bench dealt a final blow to Djokovic's hopes of chasing a record 21st Grand Slam win at the Australian Open, after a rollercoaster ride.

The Serbian player boarded an Emirates flight bound from Melbourne to Dubai on Sunday evening just hours after the ruling, a Reuters witness said. The flight was due to take off at 10:30 p.m. (1130 GMT)

The flight capped a journey that began when Djokovic, the world's top men's player, was first detained by immigration authorities on Jan. 6, ordered released by a court on Jan. 10 and then detained on Saturday again.

Djokovic said after the ruling he was extremely disappointed as it meant he could not take part in the tournament, which starts on Monday.

"I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country," he said in a statement, and wished the tournament well.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting