Djokovic news LIVE: Australia cancels visa for a second time leaving tennis star facing deportation

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Novak Djokovic has had his Australian visa cancelled by the country’s immigration minister. This is the second time that the tennis star has had his visa revoked and his lawyers are expected to challenge the decision in the court, but as things stand the Serbian faces deportation from Australia.

Announcing his decision, Immigration minister Alex Hawke said: “Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.”

The men’s world number one broke his silence over a number of accusations of breaking Covid protocol on Wednesday, and he conceded that he broke isolation and conducted an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe despite knowing that he was positive for the virus, such a transgression could result in up to five years in prison if proven that he lied about his positive test.

Follow all the latest news and updates from Melbourne below.

Novak Djokovic latest news and updates

  • Australia cancels Novak Djokovic’s visa for second time

  • Immigration minister Alex Hawke cites ‘public interest'

  • Djokovic likely to appeal against decision once more

Read the Australian immigration minister’s full statement

07:40 , Holly Bancroft

Minister Alex Hawke said: “Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.

“This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.

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

“The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I thank the officers of the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force who work every day to serve Australia’s interests in increasingly challenging operational environments.”

What can Djokovic do now?

07:33 , Holly Bancroft

Novak Djokovic’s lawyers are expected to appeal the latest decision to revoke his visa in the Federal Circuit and Family Court.

The success or failure of the legal challenge will determine whether the tennis No 1 can stay in Australia and compete in the tennis open.

Announcing his decision, Immigration minister Alex Hawke said: “Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.”

Novak Djokovic news

07:31 , Lawrence Ostlere

Novak Djokovic has had his Australian visa cancelled for a second time.

The world number one had been waiting since a judge overturned the original decision on Monday to find out whether Immigration Minister Alex Hawke would use his powers to reimpose the penalty.

And, just before 6pm (7am UK time) on Friday, Hawke released a statement saying he had made the judgement to send Djokovic home “on health and good order grounds”.

Australia cancels Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time

07:27 , Holly Bancroft

World No 1 Novak Djokovic has had his visa cancelled by the Australian immigration minister, just three days before the start of the tennis open in Melbourne.

Read the latest from Rory Sullivan here:

Australia cancels Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time

When will Australian immigration minister decide Novak Djokovic’s fate?

00:00 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic’s participation in the Australian Open continues to hang in the balance.

The Serbian awaits the decision of Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke, who must weigh whether to revoke the 20-time Grand Slam winner’s visa.

Hawke could be empowered to do so if it is found that Djokovic included false information on his immigration forms when entering Australia.

The 34-year-old admitted that he had travelled in the two weeks prior to arriving in Melbourne, contrary to what had been stated on the forms, but attributed this to a “human error” made by his agent.

Pictures on social media showed the Serbian in Belgrade over Christmas and training in Spain at New Year.

When will Australian immigration minister decide Novak Djokovic’s fate?

Novak Djokovic ripped by Howard Stern in explosive rant

Thursday 13 January 2022 23:45 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has been the subject of an explosive rant from Howard Stern who maintains the Serbian is “a f***ing a**hole”.

“That f***nut… Djokovic,” Stern said. “The Joker, I call him ‘’The Joker’’… What a f***ing a**hole.

“He’s a douchebag. You should be out of tennis. He doesn’t care about anyone else.

“Well that’s like saying smoking is a private decision. Well that’s true, but don’t smoke in my face, f***nut. What a dummy. Just a big, dumb tennis player.”

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if found to have misled court over Covid test

Thursday 13 January 2022 23:30 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if found to have lied about his positive Covid test to Australia authorities.

Djokovic said in a sworn affidavit to the Federal Circuit Court that he was diagnosed with coronavirus on 16 December. “On 16 December 2021, I was tested and diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 (Covid),” he said. The judge eventually ruled that Djokovic should not have his visa revoked and should be allowed to stay in Australia to play tennis.

However, in a statement posted on social media earlier on Wednesday, Djokovic claimed to have been aware of his positive Covid result only on 17 December, not the 16th, which he says explains why he went to public events on the 16th.

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if he misled court over Covid test

Novak Djokovic trains with Federico Coria on Rod Laver

Thursday 13 January 2022 23:15 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has continued training ahead of the 2022 Australian Open with Federico Coria on Rod Laver Court.

The Argentine, 29, will begin his tournament against No 17 seed Gael Monfils on Monday.

The pair met for the first time on court last year in the Belgrade 2 tournament on clay, with the Serbian triumphing in straight sets (6-1, 6-0) to advance to the semi-finals.

Stefanos Tsitsipas: Novak Djokovic put Australian Open at risk

Thursday 13 January 2022 23:00 , Jack Rathborn

Stefanos Tsitsipas insists Novak Djokovic put the Australian Open at risk with his actions to enter Australia with an exemption for Covid vaccination.

The Greek player, who is the No 4 seed in Melbourne, also claims he has not played by the rules and has made the other players who took the vaccine “look like fools”.

The Greek player said: “For sure he has been playing by his own rules, doing something not many players have the guts to go and do. Especially after ATP announced certain criteria to enter the country.

“Nobody would have thought I could come to Australia unvaccinated and not follow the protocols they gave me.

“It takes a lot of daring to do, and putting the Grand Slam at risk. I don’t think many players could do that. I chose to go and be 100 percent ready for whatever was to come and not have to think about anything else.

“For me it worked in one way, for Novak another way, it doesn’t mean mine is the right one and Novak’s is the wrong one. It’s just each person’s perception.

“There are two ways to look at it. Every single player almost, the stats say 90 percent of the players have been vaccinated and did what they had to do to come and perform in Australia. One side of it is we followed the protocols to compete in Australia and been very disciplined in that part.

“The other sense I’d say it kind of seemed like not everybody is playing by the rules. A very small majority of that percentage chose to follow their own way. It makes the majority look like they’re all fools or something.”

Australian Prime Minister clarifies what Novak Djokovic’s case will come down to

Thursday 13 January 2022 22:45 , Jack Rathborn

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has provided an update on what Novak Djokovic’s future in the country and his ability to play the 2022 Australian Open will come down to.

He said: “I refer to Minister Hawk’s most recent statement, that position hasn’t changed, these are personal ministerial powers able to be exercised by Minister Hawk.

“The reason we have had since 15 December, where fully vaccinated eligible visa holders could travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption, and those states were allowing them to enter quarantine-free, that individual has to show they are double-vaccinated or provide acceptable proof that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

“That’s the policy, it hasn’t changed. That is the policy. We’d expect authorities to implement the policy of the government when it comes to those matters.”

NewsCorp poll: 83 percent in favour of Novak Djokovic being deported from Australia

Thursday 13 January 2022 22:30 , Jack Rathborn

An overwhelming 83 percent of respondents to a NewsCorp poll across several Australian news sites believe the Federal Government should seek to deport Novak Djokovic.

Almost 60,000 people answered the poll, with tension simmering just days before the Australian Open 2022 starts.

Djokovic has admitted to breaking Covid protocol following his positive test and continues to train in Melbourne after successfully appealing against his visa and vaccination exemption being revoked.

Novak Djokovic decision to not tell L’Equipe of positive Covid test ‘deeply concerning’

Thursday 13 January 2022 22:00 , Jack Rathborn

A statement from Simon Cambers and Isabelle Musy, co-presidents of the International Tennis Writers Association (ITWA) read: “The news that Novak Djokovic did not tell one of our members - and the rest of the L’Equipe team on the day - that he had tested positive for Covid-19 is deeply concerning.

“As journalists, we take great care to adhere to all Covid-19 rules in place and we would expect all players to do the same.

“Furthermore, it should be noted that journalists have to be fully vaccinated to travel to Melbourne for this year’s Australian Open.”

Novak Djokovic visa row is just latest step in a career of contradictions

Thursday 13 January 2022 21:45 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic visa row is just latest step in a career of contradictions

In the same vein as his unerring domination of tennis, Novak Djokovic has rarely left anything to nuance. Within the world of sport, he has been cast as either an unstoppable heir or a cold iconoclast on a relentless pursuit of records. On matters of medical health, the twenty-times grand slam champion’s de facto second court, his reputation as a conspiracist or – at least in his own eyes – a martyr has always been rather more self-inflicted.

And so as the drama and diplomacy of Djokovic’s purgatory in Melbourne continues to unfold, with the Serbian’s detention at the Park Hotel now extended until Monday, it is hard not to feel as though we’ve been bubbling towards an eruption like this for years. Djokovic’s life has always been founded on an obstinate self-belief, procuring immense success and provoking regular controversy, particularly during the pandemic. Eventually, though, there had to be a flashpoint where the 34-year-old’s warped ideology collided with reality and couldn’t still triumph regardless.

Of course, there is still no absolute clarity over whether Djokovic will be granted permission to compete at the Australian Open. After ten hours spent in stasis at Tullamarine airport on Wednesday, he was transferred to the supposedly bug-riddled quarantine facility in Carlton before being serenaded into the night by fans. His father, Srdjan, remained adamant that Djokovic was “the Spartacus of the new world” and that “he is like water and water paves its own path”. The delusions of grandeur are seemingly hereditary, but few can doubt Djokovic’s conviction in getting his own way.

The Novak Djokovic visa row is just latest step in a career of contradictions

Andy Murray progresses again at Australian Open warm-up

Thursday 13 January 2022 21:30 , Jack Rathborn

Andy Murray has won three matches at the same ATP Tour event for the first time in more than two years after opponent David Goffin retired during their quarter-final at the Sydney Tennis Classic.

The last time the Scot managed a hat-trick of victories at tour level was the European Open in Antwerp in October 2019, when he emotionally won what is his only title since his hip problems began two years earlier.

But there have been positive signs over the last six months, most notably that Murray has been able to play and train consistently, and he followed up a marathon victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili by taking the opening set 6-2 against former top-10 star Goffin.

Andy Murray progresses again at Australian Open warm-up

Novak Djokovic: Timeline of tennis star’s visa saga in Australia

Thursday 13 January 2022 21:15 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has been successful in his fight to quash the decision to rescind his Australian visa in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, paving the way for him to defend his Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

The saga is not finished, however, with a possible three-year ban from the country still hanging over Djokovic’s head given the potential for a discretionary call from the immigration minister to supersede the home affairs minister who was included as part of the court case.

The saga has become a major diplomatic incident with Australians furious that Djokovic, who has openly opposed vaccinations, was granted an exemption to enter the country.

Timeline of Novak Djokovic’s visa saga in Australia

Who is Miomir Kecmanovic? Novak Djokovic’s first-round opponent at Australian Open

Thursday 13 January 2022 21:00 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic will play compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round of the Australian Open 2022.

The 22-year-old grew up idolising the 20-time Grand Slam winner and is all set to face the legendary Serb, though he could face a lucky loser should the Australian government rescind his visa before the tournament starts.

The pair have only fought one time before, a win for Djokovic unsurprisingly.

That came in Belgrade last year on clay though, with Djokovic prevailing 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Serbia Open, exiting the tournament in the semi-finals against Aslan Karatsev, who came unstuck in the final to Matteo Berrettini.

Kecmanovic, the world No 78, has earned just ovr $2.5m in his career, while Djokovic has compiled almost $155m in prize money alone.

Kecmanovic, who has a peak ranking of No 38, has one title to his name, the 2020 Kitzbuhel in Austria, defeating German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann in the final. While Djokovic approaching a century and currently on 86.

Is it possible to separate Novak Djokovic the player from the person?

Thursday 13 January 2022 20:45 , Jack Rathborn

Four nights after being “tortured, harassed and crucified” in a detention hotel, Novak Djokovic was resurrected inside the Rod Laver Arena on Monday afternoon. In Melbourne’s central business district, the celebrations of his disciples the night before lingered in the air as molecules of teargas. Ten thousand miles away in Belgrade, his parents hailed their son as a saviour of free will at a triumphant press conference while Nigel Farage blathered in the background about cigarettes and the big state.

It was the dramatic culmination – at least for now – of a legal marathon that has encompassed all manner of extremes and melodrama, from the hostility of Australia’s immigration policies to the mystery of Djokovic’s medical exemption. So perhaps, after the world No 1 was finally released by officials at the Park Hotel on Monday, it was inevitable that he would rush to the place where he has always held supreme control. Posing on the court where he has won almost half of his grand slam titles, alongside his coach, fitness trainer and physio, Djokovic beamed with a smile and reaffirmed his intent to lift the Norman Brookes Trophy for a 10th time this month.

For all the pandemonium that greeted judge Anthony Kelly’s verdict on Monday, Djokovic’s participation still remains in grave doubt. His legal victory has been clouded by the enduring scrutiny over a purported positive PCR test on 16 December, after which he was photographed maskless at several public events, and further suspicion has since arisen over factual errors on his travel declaration form. Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, confirmed on Tuesday that he is still “thoroughly” considering whether to use his discretionary powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa again.

Is it possible to separate Novak Djokovic the player from the person?

Martina Navratilova tells Djokovic to ‘suck it up’ and ‘go home’

Thursday 13 January 2022 20:30 , Jack Rathborn

Martina Navratilova has hit out at Novak Djokovic‘s decision to refuse the Covid vaccine, suggesting he should “suck it up” or “just go home”.

The tennis world No1 caused huge controversy after arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open without sufficient evidence he was exempt from the jab before he was detained in a quarantine hotel.

He has since won a court battle over the issue and is expected to play in the tournament later this month, but Navratilova says she can’t support his decision.

Serbian facing five years in prison if he misled court over Covid test

Thursday 13 January 2022 20:00 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if found to have lied about his positive Covid test to Australia authorities.

Djokovic said in a sworn affidavit to the Federal Circuit Court that he was diagnosed with coronavirus on 16 December. “On 16 December 2021, I was tested and diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 (Covid),” he said. The judge eventually ruled that Djokovic should not have his visa revoked and should be allowed to stay in Australia to play tennis.

However, in a statement posted on social media earlier on Wednesday, Djokovic claimed to have been aware of his positive Covid result only on 17 December, not the 16th, which he says explains why he went to public events on the 16th.

The punishment for misleading information to court is a custodial sentence of up to five years.

Djokovic was pictured practising on Wednesday ahead of the tournament, which begins on Monday 17 January. He is predicted to get a “hostile” welcome from both the crowd and some of his colleagues in the dressing room over the coming fortnight as the 34-year-old chases a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title, and a 10th in Melbourne.

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if he misled court over Covid test

Novak Djokovic’s potential route to 2022 Australian Open final

Thursday 13 January 2022 19:40 , Jack Rathborn

Providing Novak Djokovic does not experience any more challenges from the Australian government to deport him, this could be his route towards defending his Australian Open title.

- Should he successfully negotiate his first round against compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, then world-ranked No 41 Tommy Paul likely awaits in the second round.

- A third round against Italian Lorenzo Sonego, ranked No 27, may prove tricky, before either No 17 seed Gael Monfils of France or No 16 seed Cristian Garin of Chile in the last 16.

- Matteo Berrettini (7th seed), Cameron Norrie (12th seed) or Pablo Carreno Busta (19th seed) could then be next in the quarter-finals.

- Then it gets interesting, with Alexander Zverev (3rd seed) expected to negotiate Denis Shapovalov (14th seed) in order to meet Rafael Nadal (6th seed) in the quarter-finals, with the winner likely to face Djokovic.

- So the final, should he overcome that, will likely be between Daniil Medvedev (2nd seed), Stefanos Tsitsipas (4th seed) or Andrey Rublev (5th seed).

Spanish government not investigating Novak Djokovic over Covid rules breach

Thursday 13 January 2022 19:20 , Jack Rathborn

The Spanish government are not investigating Novak Djokovic over a potential Covid rules breach.

Reports on Wednesday suggested authorities were looking into a possible legal issues from Djokovic entering the country en route to Australia for the Australian Open.

Since September 20, citizens from Serbia are required to have a vaccine certificate or show a special exemption to enter a Spanish territory.

But a source told Politico on Thursday that Spain’s interior ministry is not investigating whether Djokovic broke coronavirus rules by entering Spain while unvaccinated last month.

Netflix series to capture Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open visa saga

Thursday 13 January 2022 19:00 , Jack Rathborn

A blockbuster Netflix series will capture Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open visa saga after reports tennis’ governing bodies have signed off on the documentary.

The Mail report that a film crew is already in Australia to begin the show in the same format as Formula 1’s Drive to Survive.

And the series will be made by London-based Box To Box Films, with executive producer James Gay Rees.

Andy Murray has spoken about how he would like tennis to be given similar coverage to Drive to Survive, but warned the sport is more exclusive behind the scenes, which could prevent the same kind of access experienced in F1.

“A lot of people have spoken about Drive to Survive. I’ve watched a few episodes myself, I enjoyed it and something like that would be really good for tennis,” he told Eurosport.

“I think that there is huge benefit to the sport (but) I don’t think tennis is open enough to allow access like that. It’s a difficult one because it’s brilliant.

“A lot of players would (support it) but you also need to trust the people that are filming as well. Providing it’s done well and that there’s a level of respect and trust there between the athletes and the people that are filming, I think it can be unbelievably positive.”

Roger Federer’s advice to Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open first round opponent

Thursday 13 January 2022 18:40 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic’s first-round Australian Open opponent Miomir Kecmanovic picked up some valuable advice from Roger Federer on his way to making it as a pro.

The 22-year-old Serbian was a ‘Next Gen reporter’ for the ATP Tour at the 2019 Miami Open and spoke with the former world No 1 about the key to making it on Tour.

“You’ve been on the tour longer than I’ve been alive almost, so do you have any tips that I could use out here?” Kecmanovic asked.

“Enjoy yourself, and you have enough time,” the current world No 16 told him. I think when you’re young you always think like ‘it has to happen tomorrow’.

“Just have a blast out there because I wish I was still your age and could do it all over again, so I’m a little bit sad I’m at the back end of my career. But I’m sure you’ll have a great career.”

Novak Djokovic ‘playing by his own rules’ in Australian visa saga, Stefanos Tsitsipas claims

Thursday 13 January 2022 18:20 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic is “playing by his own rules” in his Australian visa saga, according to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The No 4 seed for the Australian Open 2022 insists Djokovic put the Grand Slam at risk with his actions to enter the country with an exemption for the Covid-19 vaccination, despite clearly-outlined rules and regulations given to the players from the ATP.

Djokovic is still waiting to hear if the Australian government will push to revoke his visa once more after admitting to providing misleading information over his whereabouts following a positive Covid test last month.

Novak Djokovic ‘playing by his own rules’ in visa saga, Stefanos Tsitsipas claims

When will Australian immigration minister decide Novak Djokovic’s fate?

Thursday 13 January 2022 18:00 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic’s participation in the Australian Open continues to hang in the balance.

The Serbian awaits the decision of Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke, who must weigh whether to revoke the 20-time Grand Slam winner’s visa.

Hawke could be empowered to do so if it is found that Djokovic included false information on his immigration forms when entering Australia.

The 34-year-old admitted that he had travelled in the two weeks prior to arriving in Melbourne, contrary to what had been stated on the forms, but attributed this to a “human error” made by his agent.

Pictures on social media showed the Serbian in Belgrade over Christmas and training in Spain at New Year.

When will Australian immigration minister decide Novak Djokovic’s fate?

Novak Djokovic: The tennis star always seeking to walk his own path

Thursday 13 January 2022 17:40 , Jack Rathborn

“The one hero in this whole Novak Djokovic saga is Rafael Nadal – and I think [we] should listen to him,” former vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said on the radio on Sunday. “I encourage everyone to get their jab.”

He was being asked about the case of the men’s tennis No 1’s possible deportation from Australia, where the Serbian was denied entry after landing in Melbourne last week to defend his Australian Open title. An earlier decision to grant a medical exemption to play had infuriated many living in a country that has some of the world’s strictest Covid rules. The appeal hearing against deportation will be heard on Monday at 10am local time (11pm Sunday GMT).

Djokovic has not disclosed his vaccine status, but in April 2020, before vaccines for Covid-19 were available, said that he was opposed to vaccination before later clarifying his position by adding that he was “no expert” and would keep an “open mind” – but wanted to have “an option to choose what’s best for my body” and “wouldn’t want to be forced” to have one to travel. His lawyers have said a vaccine exemption was granted to enter Australia after a Covid infection on 16 December (although Djokovic tweeted pictures on 17 December of him maskless appearance at a ceremony in Belgrade – it is unclear whether he knew he had Covid when the photos were taken).

How Novak Djokovic became a tennis star always seeking to walk his own path

Novak Djokovic: Timeline of tennis star’s visa saga in Australia

Thursday 13 January 2022 17:20 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has been successful in his fight to quash the decision to rescind his Australian visa in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, paving the way for him to defend his Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

The saga is not finished, however, with a possible three-year ban from the country still hanging over Djokovic’s head given the potential for a discretionary call from the immigration minister to supersede the home affairs minister who was included as part of the court case.

The saga has become a major diplomatic incident with Australians furious that Djokovic, who has openly opposed vaccinations, was granted an exemption to enter the country.

Timeline of Novak Djokovic’s visa saga in Australia

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if found to have misled court over Covid test

Thursday 13 January 2022 17:00 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if found to have lied about his positive Covid test to Australia authorities.

Djokovic said in a sworn affidavit to the Federal Circuit Court that he was diagnosed with coronavirus on 16 December. “On 16 December 2021, I was tested and diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 (Covid),” he said. The judge eventually ruled that Djokovic should not have his visa revoked and should be allowed to stay in Australia to play tennis.

However, in a statement posted on social media earlier on Wednesday, Djokovic claimed to have been aware of his positive Covid result only on 17 December, not the 16th, which he says explains why he went to public events on the 16th.

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if he misled court over Covid test

Stefanos Tsitsipas: Novak Djokovic put Australian Open at risk

Thursday 13 January 2022 16:45 , Jack Rathborn

Stefanos Tsitsipas insists Novak Djokovic put the Australian Open at risk with his actions to enter Australia with an exemption for Covid vaccination.

The Greek player, who is the No 4 seed in Melbourne, also claims he has not played by the rules and has made the other players who took the vaccine “look like fools”.

The Greek player said: “For sure he has been playing by his own rules, doing something not many players have the guts to go and do. Especially after ATP announced certain criteria to enter the country.

“Nobody would have thought I could come to Australia unvaccinated and not follow the protocols they gave me.

“It takes a lot of daring to do, and putting the Grand Slam at risk. I don’t think many players could do that. I chose to go and be 100 percent ready for whatever was to come and not have to think about anything else.

“For me it worked in one way, for Novak another way, it doesn’t mean mine is the right one and Novak’s is the wrong one. It’s just each person’s perception.

“There are two ways to look at it. Every single player almost, the stats say 90 percent of the players have been vaccinated and did what they had to do to come and perform in Australia. One side of it is we followed the protocols to compete in Australia and been very disciplined in that part.

“The other sense I’d say it kind of seemed like not everybody is playing by the rules. A very small majority of that percentage chose to follow their own way. It makes the majority look like they’re all fools or something.”

Is it possible to separate Novak Djokovic the player from the person?

Thursday 13 January 2022 16:30 , Jack Rathborn

Four nights after being “tortured, harassed and crucified” in a detention hotel, Novak Djokovic was resurrected inside the Rod Laver Arena on Monday afternoon. In Melbourne’s central business district, the celebrations of his disciples the night before lingered in the air as molecules of teargas. Ten thousand miles away in Belgrade, his parents hailed their son as a saviour of free will at a triumphant press conference while Nigel Farage blathered in the background about cigarettes and the big state.

It was the dramatic culmination – at least for now – of a legal marathon that has encompassed all manner of extremes and melodrama, from the hostility of Australia’s immigration policies to the mystery of Djokovic’s medical exemption. So perhaps, after the world No 1 was finally released by officials at the Park Hotel on Monday, it was inevitable that he would rush to the place where he has always held supreme control. Posing on the court where he has won almost half of his grand slam titles, alongside his coach, fitness trainer and physio, Djokovic beamed with a smile and reaffirmed his intent to lift the Norman Brookes Trophy for a 10th time this month.

For all the pandemonium that greeted judge Anthony Kelly’s verdict on Monday, Djokovic’s participation still remains in grave doubt. His legal victory has been clouded by the enduring scrutiny over a purported positive PCR test on 16 December, after which he was photographed maskless at several public events, and further suspicion has since arisen over factual errors on his travel declaration form. Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, confirmed on Tuesday that he is still “thoroughly” considering whether to use his discretionary powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa again.

Is it possible to separate Novak Djokovic the player from the person?

Spain denies Novak Djokovic investigation over alleged Covid breach

Thursday 13 January 2022 16:15 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic is not being investigated by the Spanish government over a separate alleged Covid rules breach to his current difficulties with the Australian government.

Reports on Wednesday suggested authorities were looking into a possible legal issue after it emerged Djokovic entered the country days after testing positive for Covid en route to Melbourne for the Australian Open.

Since 20 September, citizens from Serbia are required to have a vaccine certificate or show a special exemption to enter a Spanish territory.

Spain denies Novak Djokovic investigation over alleged Covid breach

Novak Djokovic visa row is just latest step in a career of contradictions

Thursday 13 January 2022 15:59 , Jack Rathborn

In the same vein as his unerring domination of tennis, Novak Djokovic has rarely left anything to nuance. Within the world of sport, he has been cast as either an unstoppable heir or a cold iconoclast on a relentless pursuit of records. On matters of medical health, the twenty-times grand slam champion’s de facto second court, his reputation as a conspiracist or – at least in his own eyes – a martyr has always been rather more self-inflicted.

And so as the drama and diplomacy of Djokovic’s purgatory in Melbourne continues to unfold, with the Serbian’s detention at the Park Hotel now extended until Monday, it is hard not to feel as though we’ve been bubbling towards an eruption like this for years. Djokovic’s life has always been founded on an obstinate self-belief, procuring immense success and provoking regular controversy, particularly during the pandemic. Eventually, though, there had to be a flashpoint where the 34-year-old’s warped ideology collided with reality and couldn’t still triumph regardless.

Of course, there is still no absolute clarity over whether Djokovic will be granted permission to compete at the Australian Open. After ten hours spent in stasis at Tullamarine airport on Wednesday, he was transferred to the supposedly bug-riddled quarantine facility in Carlton before being serenaded into the night by fans. His father, Srdjan, remained adamant that Djokovic was “the Spartacus of the new world” and that “he is like water and water paves its own path”. The delusions of grandeur are seemingly hereditary, but few can doubt Djokovic’s conviction in getting his own way.

The Novak Djokovic visa row is just latest step in a career of contradictions

Novak Djokovic’s potential route to 2022 Australian Open final

Thursday 13 January 2022 15:43 , Jack Rathborn

Providing Novak Djokovic does not experience any more challenges from the Australian government to deport him, this could be his route towards defending his Australian Open title.

- Should he successfully negotiate his first round against compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, then world-ranked No 41 Tommy Paul likely awaits in the second round.

- A third round against Italian Lorenzo Sonego, ranked No 27, may prove tricky, before either No 17 seed Gael Monfils of France or No 16 seed Cristian Garin of Chile in the last 16.

- Matteo Berrettini (7th seed), Cameron Norrie (12th seed) or Pablo Carreno Busta (19th seed) could then be next in the quarter-finals.

- Then it gets interesting, with Alexander Zverev (3rd seed) expected to negotiate Denis Shapovalov (14th seed) in order to meet Rafael Nadal (6th seed) in the quarter-finals, with the winner likely to face Djokovic.

- So the final, should he overcome that, will likely be between Daniil Medvedev (2nd seed), Stefanos Tsitsipas (4th seed) or Andrey Rublev (5th seed).

Australian Prime Minister clarifies what Novak Djokovic’s case will come down to

Thursday 13 January 2022 15:32 , Jack Rathborn

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has provided an update on what Novak Djokovic’s future in the country and his ability to play the 2022 Australian Open will come down to.

He said: “I refer to Minister Hawk's most recent statement, that position hasn't changed, these are personal ministerial powers able to be exercised by Minister Hawk.

“The reason we have had since 15 December, where fully vaccinated eligible visa holders could travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption, and those states were allowing them to enter quarantine-free, that individual has to show they are double-vaccinated or provide acceptable proof that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

“That's the policy, it hasn't changed. That is the policy. We'd expect authorities to implement the policy of the government when it comes to those matters.”

Who is Miomir Kecmanovic? Novak Djokovic’s first-round opponent at Australian Open

Thursday 13 January 2022 15:20 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic will play compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round of the Australian Open 2022.

The 22-year-old grew up idolising the 20-time Grand Slam winner and is all set to face the legendary Serb, though he could face a lucky loser should the Australian government rescind his visa before the tournament starts.

The pair have only fought one time before, a win for Djokovic unsurprisingly.

That came in Belgrade last year on clay though, with Djokovic prevailing 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Serbia Open, exiting the tournament in the semi-finals against Aslan Karatsev, who came unstuck in the final to Matteo Berrettini.

Kecmanovic, the world No 78, has earned just ovr $2.5m in his career, while Djokovic has compiled almost $155m in prize money alone.

Kecmanovic, who has a peak ranking of No 38, has one title to his name, the 2020 Kitzbuhel in Austria, defeating German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann in the final. While Djokovic approaching a century and currently on 86.

Novak Djokovic trains with Federico Coria on Rod Laver

Thursday 13 January 2022 15:10 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has continued training ahead of the 2022 Australian Open with Federico Coria on Rod Laver Court.

The Argentine, 29, will begin his tournament against No 17 seed Gael Monfils on Monday.

The pair met for the first time on court last year in the Belgrade 2 tournament on clay, with the Serbian triumphing in straight sets (6-1, 6-0) to advance to the semi-finals.

Novak Djokovic ripped by Howard Stern in explosive rant

Thursday 13 January 2022 14:59 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic has been the subject of an explosive rant from Howard Stern who maintains the Serbian is “a f***ing a**hole”.

“That f***nut… Djokovic,” Stern said. “The Joker, I call him ‘’The Joker’’… What a f***ing a**hole.

“He’s a douchebag. You should be out of tennis. He doesn’t care about anyone else.

“Well that’s like saying smoking is a private decision. Well that’s true, but don’t smoke in my face, f***nut. What a dummy. Just a big, dumb tennis player.”

Spanish government not investigating Novak Djokovic over Covid rules breach

Thursday 13 January 2022 14:37 , Jack Rathborn

The Spanish government are not investigating Novak Djokovic over a potential Covid rules breach.

Reports on Wednesday suggested authorities were looking into a possible legal issues from Djokovic entering the country en route to Australia for the Australian Open.

Since September 20, citizens from Serbia are required to have a vaccine certificate or show a special exemption to enter a Spanish territory.

But a source told Politico on Thursday that Spain’s interior ministry is not investigating whether Djokovic broke coronavirus rules by entering Spain while unvaccinated last month.

Djokovic waits on fresh visa decision

Thursday 13 January 2022 14:19 , Ben Burrows

Djokovic originally had his visa refused on 6 January, soon after landing in the state of Victoria, and was detained.

This refusal was overturned by a judge in court on 10 January, and the Australian Open favourite has since been able to train in Melbourne.

With the first major of the year set to begin on Monday 17 January, time is tight for authorities to determine whether Djokovic is permitted to play.

He has been given a medical exemption into the tournament as an unvaccinated player on the basis of a positive Covid test on 16 December, though the validity of that result has also been questioned.

It had been reported that a decision was due on Djokovic’s visa on Wednesday 12 January, but the day came and went without a ruling.

This means that Hawke will almost certainly decide on either Thursday 13 January or Friday 14 January.

Netflix series to capture Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open visa saga

Thursday 13 January 2022 13:52 , Jack Rathborn

A blockbuster Netflix series will capture Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open visa saga after reports tennis’ governing bodies have signed off on the documentary.

The Mail report that a film crew is already in Australia to begin the show in the same format as Formula 1’s Drive to Survive.

And the series will be made by London-based Box To Box Films, with executive producer James Gay Rees.

Andy Murray has spoken about how he would like tennis to be given similar coverage to Drive to Survive, but warned the sport is more exclusive behind the scenes, which could prevent the same kind of access experienced in F1.

“A lot of people have spoken about Drive to Survive. I’ve watched a few episodes myself, I enjoyed it and something like that would be really good for tennis,” he told Eurosport.

“I think that there is huge benefit to the sport (but) I don’t think tennis is open enough to allow access like that. It’s a difficult one because it’s brilliant.

“A lot of players would (support it) but you also need to trust the people that are filming as well. Providing it’s done well and that there’s a level of respect and trust there between the athletes and the people that are filming, I think it can be unbelievably positive.”

Roger Federer's advice to Novak Djokovic's Australian Open first round opponent

Thursday 13 January 2022 13:40 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic’s first-round Australian Open opponent Miomir Kecmanovic picked up some valuable advice from Roger Federer on his way to making it as a pro.

The 22-year-old Serbian was a ‘Next Gen reporter’ for the ATP Tour at the 2019 Miami Open and spoke with the former world No 1 about the key to making it on Tour.

“You’ve been on the tour longer than I’ve been alive almost, so do you have any tips that I could use out here?” Kecmanovic asked.

“Enjoy yourself, and you have enough time,” the current world No 16 told him. I think when you’re young you always think like ‘it has to happen tomorrow’.

“Just have a blast out there because I wish I was still your age and could do it all over again, so I’m a little bit sad I’m at the back end of my career. But I’m sure you’ll have a great career.”

Serbian facing five years in prison if he misled court over Covid test

Thursday 13 January 2022 13:30 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if found to have lied about his positive Covid test to Australia authorities.

Djokovic said in a sworn affidavit to the Federal Circuit Court that he was diagnosed with coronavirus on 16 December. “On 16 December 2021, I was tested and diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 (Covid),” he said. The judge eventually ruled that Djokovic should not have his visa revoked and should be allowed to stay in Australia to play tennis.

However, in a statement posted on social media earlier on Wednesday, Djokovic claimed to have been aware of his positive Covid result only on 17 December, not the 16th, which he says explains why he went to public events on the 16th.

The punishment for misleading information to court is a custodial sentence of up to five years.

Djokovic was pictured practising on Wednesday ahead of the tournament, which begins on Monday 17 January. He is predicted to get a “hostile” welcome from both the crowd and some of his colleagues in the dressing room over the coming fortnight as the 34-year-old chases a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title, and a 10th in Melbourne.

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if he misled court over Covid test

Djokovic’s father declares: ‘Case closed’

Thursday 13 January 2022 13:15 , Jack Rathborn

While Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open future still hangs in the balance, his father believes it is already a shut case.

In his latest comments to Serbian media, Srdjan Djokovic declared: “The whole situation regarding Novak Djokovic is closed by the verdict of the Australian court.

“An Australian court and an independent judge, after seven hours of examining all the facts, determined that there are no ambiguities and that Novak is free to enter Australia and do his job.”

Djokovic is still awaiting the decision of the Australian immigration minister, who could exercise a personal power to cancel Djokovic’s visa.

Novak Djokovic admits attending interview with journalist while Covid positive

Thursday 13 January 2022 13:09 , Jack Rathborn

As a reminder of today’s top story, Novak Djokovic has admitted to making an “error of judgement” by attending an interview with a French journalist while Covid positive.

In a lengthy statement on social media, he hit out at “misinformation” surrounding his entry into Australia and travel documents. The world No 1 said “human error” was behind a mistake made on his Australian entry documents that breached the country’s strict laws on reporting recent travel.

“This was human error and certainly not deliberate,” Djokovic said in a post on Instagram. “We are living in challenging times in a global pandemic and sometimes these mistakes can occur.”

The statement came as Australia’s immigration minister Alex Hawke considered whether to cancel the world No 1 tennis player’s visa ahead of the Australian Open, which starts on 17 January.

Giving false or misleading information in the form is an offence, carrying a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison and a fine as well as cancellation of the offender’s visa.

Djokovic will play ‘even better’ against the crowds

Thursday 13 January 2022 13:00 , Jack Rathborn

Former player Andrew Castle says Novak Djokovic is “stubborn” and having the crowd against him at the Australian Open will make him play “even better”.

Djokovic won his appeal to stay in Australia on Monday after having his visa cancelled for not having sufficient evidence for his medical exemption. However, he could still be deported if Australia’s immigration minister Alex Hawke decides to re-cancel the visa in coming days.

The situation has many predicting crowds will be against him as he goes for a record 21st grand slam but Castle believes Djokovic will thrive in that environment.

“He’s such a stubborn and hard-working guy on court, if he gets this exemption and if the Australian government don’t supersede the court, I would say that he’s going to tee it up and play,” he told Sky.

“If he can get through two, three, four rounds, and play his way into the tournament - we know how good he is - I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him into the second week of this grand slam once again, because he is so stubborn and so good.

“When it’s time, and the bell rings, he’ll be ready to compete. Sometimes Novak can be even better when everyone is against him than when everyone is for him.”

Djokovic saga damaging for everyone, says ATP

Thursday 13 January 2022 12:58 , Jack Rathborn

The controversy surrounding Novak Djokovic’s entry into Australia has been “damaging on all fronts”, according to the men’s professional tennis tour.

The 34-year-old is still awaiting a verdict from Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke, who is considering whether to cancel his visa despite Djokovic’s victory in court.

The decision to grant Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, a medical exemption for the tournament caused controversy in Australia, which has seen some of the world’s strictest lockdowns and vaccination rules during the pandemic.

“The ATP fully respects the sacrifices the people of Australia have made since the onset of Covid-19 and the stringent immigration policies that have been put in place,” the organisation said.

“In travelling to Melbourne, it’s clear Novak Djokovic believed he had been granted a necessary medical exemption in order to comply with entry regulations.

“The series of events leading to Monday’s court hearing have been damaging on all fronts, including for Novak’s well-being and preparation for the Australian Open.”

Novak Djokovic ‘playing by his own rules’ in Australian visa saga, Stefanos Tsitsipas claims

Thursday 13 January 2022 12:46 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic is “playing by his own rules” in his Australian visa saga, according to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The No 4 seed for the Australian Open 2022 insists Djokovic put the Grand Slam at risk with his actions to enter the country with an exemption for the Covid-19 vaccination, despite clearly-outlined rules and regulations given to the players from the ATP.

Djokovic is still waiting to hear if the Australian government will push to revoke his visa once more after admitting to providing misleading information over his whereabouts following a positive Covid test last month.

Novak Djokovic ‘playing by his own rules’ in visa saga, Stefanos Tsitsipas claims

When will Australian immigration minister decide Novak Djokovic’s fate?

Thursday 13 January 2022 12:32 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic’s participation in the Australian Open continues to hang in the balance.

The Serbian awaits the decision of Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke, who must weigh whether to revoke the 20-time Grand Slam winner’s visa.

Hawke could be empowered to do so if it is found that Djokovic included false information on his immigration forms when entering Australia.

The 34-year-old admitted that he had travelled in the two weeks prior to arriving in Melbourne, contrary to what had been stated on the forms, but attributed this to a “human error” made by his agent.

Pictures on social media showed the Serbian in Belgrade over Christmas and training in Spain at New Year.

When will Australian immigration minister decide Novak Djokovic’s fate?

Novak Djokovic learns first-round opponent and route to Australian Open final

Thursday 13 January 2022 12:30 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic was drawn against fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic as uncertainty continued over whether he will be allowed to compete in the Australian Open.

It appeared a decision from Immigration Minister Alex Hawke could be imminent when the draw was postponed from 3pm (4am UK) at the last minute and without explanation.

But it was then announced it would be held 75 minutes later, with Hawke now not expected to make his decision until Friday.

Djokovic, who is looking to win a record 10th Australian Open and 21st grand slam title, duly took his place at the top of the draw.

If he is forced out of the tournament ahead of Monday’s order of play being announced, the seeds will be shuffled around, with fifth seed Andrey Rublev taking Djokovic’s place.

If it happens after that time but before the first-round match, he will be replaced by a lucky loser from qualifying.

Novak Djokovic drawn against countryman as Australian Open uncertainty continues

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if found to have misled court over Covid test

Thursday 13 January 2022 12:09 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if found to have lied about his positive Covid test to Australia authorities.

Djokovic said in a sworn affidavit to the Federal Circuit Court that he was diagnosed with coronavirus on 16 December. “On 16 December 2021, I was tested and diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 (Covid),” he said. The judge eventually ruled that Djokovic should not have his visa revoked and should be allowed to stay in Australia to play tennis.

However, in a statement posted on social media earlier on Wednesday, Djokovic claimed to have been aware of his positive Covid result only on 17 December, not the 16th, which he says explains why he went to public events on the 16th.

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if he misled court over Covid test

Stefanos Tsitsipas: Novak Djokovic put Australian Open at risk

Thursday 13 January 2022 11:13 , Jack Rathborn

Stefanos Tsitsipas insists Novak Djokovic put the Australian Open at risk with his actions to enter Australia with an exemption for Covid vaccination.

The Greek player, who is the No 4 seed in Melbourne, also claims he has not played by the rules and has made the other players who took the vaccine “look like fools”.

The Greek player said: “For sure he has been playing by his own rules, doing something not many players have the guts to go and do. Especially after ATP announced certain criteria to enter the country.

“Nobody would have thought I could come to Australia unvaccinated and not follow the protocols they gave me.

“It takes a lot of daring to do, and putting the Grand Slam at risk. I don’t think many players could do that. I chose to go and be 100 percent ready for whatever was to come and not have to think about anything else.

“For me it worked in one way, for Novak another way, it doesn’t mean mine is the right one and Novak’s is the wrong one. It’s just each person’s perception.

“There are two ways to look at it. Every single player almost, the stats say 90 percent of the players have been vaccinated and did what they had to do to come and perform in Australia. One side of it is we followed the protocols to compete in Australia and been very disciplined in that part.

“The other sense I’d say it kind of seemed like not everybody is playing by the rules. A very small majority of that percentage chose to follow their own way. It makes the majority look like they’re all fools or something.”

NewsCorp poll: 83 percent in favour of Novak Djokovic being deported from Australia

Thursday 13 January 2022 10:49 , Jack Rathborn

An overwhelming 83 percent of respondents to a NewsCorp poll across several Australian news sites believe the Federal Government should seek to deport Novak Djokovic.

Almost 60,000 people answered the poll, with tension simmering just days before the Australian Open 2022 starts.

Djokovic has admitted to breaking Covid protocol following his positive test and continues to train in Melbourne after successfully appealing against his visa and vaccination exemption being revoked.

Novak Djokovic decision to not tell L’Equipe of positive Covid test ‘deeply concerning'

Thursday 13 January 2022 10:22 , Jack Rathborn

A statement from Simon Cambers and Isabelle Musy, co-presidents of the International Tennis Writers Association (ITWA) read: “The news that Novak Djokovic did not tell one of our members - and the rest of the L’Equipe team on the day - that he had tested positive for Covid-19 is deeply concerning.

“As journalists, we take great care to adhere to all Covid-19 rules in place and we would expect all players to do the same.

“Furthermore, it should be noted that journalists have to be fully vaccinated to travel to Melbourne for this year’s Australian Open.”

Andy Murray progresses again at Australian Open warm-up

Thursday 13 January 2022 10:05 , Jack Rathborn

Andy Murray has won three matches at the same ATP Tour event for the first time in more than two years after opponent David Goffin retired during their quarter-final at the Sydney Tennis Classic.

The last time the Scot managed a hat-trick of victories at tour level was the European Open in Antwerp in October 2019, when he emotionally won what is his only title since his hip problems began two years earlier.

But there have been positive signs over the last six months, most notably that Murray has been able to play and train consistently, and he followed up a marathon victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili by taking the opening set 6-2 against former top-10 star Goffin.

Andy Murray progresses again at Australian Open warm-up

Who is Miomir Kecmanovic? Novak Djokovic’s first-round opponent at Australian Open

Thursday 13 January 2022 09:31 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic will play compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round of the Australian Open 2022.

The 22-year-old grew up idolising the 20-time Grand Slam winner and is all set to face the legendary Serb, though he could face a lucky loser should the Australian government rescind his visa before the tournament starts.

The pair have only fought one time before, a win for Djokovic unsurprisingly.

That came in Belgrade last year on clay though, with Djokovic prevailing 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Serbia Open, exiting the tournament in the semi-finals against Aslan Karatsev, who came unstuck in the final to Matteo Berrettini.

Kecmanovic, the world No 78, has earned just ovr $2.5m in his career, while Djokovic has compiled almost $155m in prize money alone.

Kecmanovic, who has a peak ranking of No 38, has one title to his name, the 2020 Kitzbuhel in Austria, defeating German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann in the final. While Djokovic approaching a century and currently on 86.

Martina Navratilova tells Djokovic to ‘suck it up’ and ‘go home’

Thursday 13 January 2022 09:15 , Jack Rathborn

Martina Navratilova has hit out at Novak Djokovic‘s decision to refuse the Covid vaccine, suggesting he should “suck it up” or “just go home”.

The tennis world No1 caused huge controversy after arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open without sufficient evidence he was exempt from the jab before he was detained in a quarantine hotel.

He has since won a court battle over the issue and is expected to play in the tournament later this month, but Navratilova says she can’t support his decision.

Djokovic splits opinion in parliament

Thursday 13 January 2022 08:56 , Lawrence Ostlere

While the immigration minister Alex Hawke decides on Djokovic’s fate, his colleagues in the Australian parliament are said to be split on whether to allow the nine-time Australian Open the chance to defend his title...

Final Djokovic decision could come today

Thursday 13 January 2022 08:38 , Lawrence Ostlere

Novak Djokovic’s participation in the Australian Open continues to hang in the balance.

The Serbian awaits the decision of Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke, who must weigh whether to revoke the 20-time Grand Slam winner’s visa. Hawke could be empowered to do so if it is found that Djokovic included false information on his immigration forms when entering Australia.

With the first major of the year set to begin on Monday 17 January, time is tight for authorities to determine whether Djokovic is permitted to play. He has been given a medical exemption into the tournament as an unvaccinated player on the basis of a positive Covid test on 16 December, though the validity of that result has also been questioned.

It had been reported that a decision was due on Djokovic’s visa yesterday, Wednesday 12 January, but the day came and went without a ruling. This means that Hawke will almost certainly decide on either today or tomorrow.

Djokovic is set to hear his fate before the tournament begins (AP)
Djokovic is set to hear his fate before the tournament begins (AP)

Djokovic’s father declares: ‘Case closed’

Thursday 13 January 2022 08:30 , Jack Rathborn

While Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open future still hangs in the balance, his father believes it is already a shut case.

In his latest comments to Serbian media, Srdjan Djokovic declared: “The whole situation regarding Novak Djokovic is closed by the verdict of the Australian court.

“An Australian court and an independent judge, after seven hours of examining all the facts, determined that there are no ambiguities and that Novak is free to enter Australia and do his job.”

Djokovic is still awaiting the decision of the Australian immigration minister, who could exercise a personal power to cancel Djokovic’s visa.

Djokovic will play ‘even better’ against the crowds

Thursday 13 January 2022 08:20 , Jack Rathborn

Former player Andrew Castle says Novak Djokovic is “stubborn” and having the crowd against him at the Australian Open will make him play “even better”.

Djokovic won his appeal to stay in Australia on Monday after having his visa cancelled for not having sufficient evidence for his medical exemption. However, he could still be deported if Australia’s immigration minister Alex Hawke decides to re-cancel the visa in coming days.

The situation has many predicting crowds will be against him as he goes for a record 21st grand slam but Castle believes Djokovic will thrive in that environment.

“He’s such a stubborn and hard-working guy on court, if he gets this exemption and if the Australian government don’t supersede the court, I would say that he’s going to tee it up and play,” he told Sky.

“If he can get through two, three, four rounds, and play his way into the tournament - we know how good he is - I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him into the second week of this grand slam once again, because he is so stubborn and so good.

“When it’s time, and the bell rings, he’ll be ready to compete. Sometimes Novak can be even better when everyone is against him than when everyone is for him.”

Djokovic saga damaging for everyone, says ATP

Thursday 13 January 2022 08:10 , Jack Rathborn

The controversy surrounding Novak Djokovic’s entry into Australia has been “damaging on all fronts”, according to the men’s professional tennis tour.

The 34-year-old is still awaiting a verdict from Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke, who is considering whether to cancel his visa despite Djokovic’s victory in court.

The decision to grant Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, a medical exemption for the tournament caused controversy in Australia, which has seen some of the world’s strictest lockdowns and vaccination rules during the pandemic.

“The ATP fully respects the sacrifices the people of Australia have made since the onset of Covid-19 and the stringent immigration policies that have been put in place,” the organisation said.

“In travelling to Melbourne, it’s clear Novak Djokovic believed he had been granted a necessary medical exemption in order to comply with entry regulations.

“The series of events leading to Monday’s court hearing have been damaging on all fronts, including for Novak’s well-being and preparation for the Australian Open.”

Serbian facing five years in prison if he misled court over Covid test

Thursday 13 January 2022 08:00 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if found to have lied about his positive Covid test to Australia authorities.

Djokovic said in a sworn affidavit to the Federal Circuit Court that he was diagnosed with coronavirus on 16 December. “On 16 December 2021, I was tested and diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 (Covid),” he said. The judge eventually ruled that Djokovic should not have his visa revoked and should be allowed to stay in Australia to play tennis.

However, in a statement posted on social media earlier on Wednesday, Djokovic claimed to have been aware of his positive Covid result only on 17 December, not the 16th, which he says explains why he went to public events on the 16th.

The punishment for misleading information to court is a custodial sentence of up to five years.

Djokovic was pictured practising on Wednesday ahead of the tournament, which begins on Monday 17 January. He is predicted to get a “hostile” welcome from both the crowd and some of his colleagues in the dressing room over the coming fortnight as the 34-year-old chases a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title, and a 10th in Melbourne.

Novak Djokovic could face five years in prison if he misled court over Covid test

Novak Djokovic admits attending interview with journalist while Covid positive

Thursday 13 January 2022 07:55 , Jack Rathborn

As a reminder of today’s top story, Novak Djokovic has admitted to making an “error of judgement” by attending an interview with a French journalist while Covid positive.

In a lengthy statement on social media, he hit out at “misinformation” surrounding his entry into Australia and travel documents. The world No 1 said “human error” was behind a mistake made on his Australian entry documents that breached the country’s strict laws on reporting recent travel.

“This was human error and certainly not deliberate,” Djokovic said in a post on Instagram. “We are living in challenging times in a global pandemic and sometimes these mistakes can occur.”

The statement came as Australia’s immigration minister Alex Hawke considered whether to cancel the world No 1 tennis player’s visa ahead of the Australian Open, which starts on 17 January.

Giving false or misleading information in the form is an offence, carrying a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison and a fine as well as cancellation of the offender’s visa.

Novak Djokovic learns first-round opponent and route to Australian Open final

Thursday 13 January 2022 07:52 , Jack Rathborn

Novak Djokovic was drawn against fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic as uncertainty continued over whether he will be allowed to compete in the Australian Open.

It appeared a decision from Immigration Minister Alex Hawke could be imminent when the draw was postponed from 3pm (4am UK) at the last minute and without explanation.

But it was then announced it would be held 75 minutes later, with Hawke now not expected to make his decision until Friday.

Djokovic, who is looking to win a record 10th Australian Open and 21st grand slam title, duly took his place at the top of the draw.

If he is forced out of the tournament ahead of Monday’s order of play being announced, the seeds will be shuffled around, with fifth seed Andrey Rublev taking Djokovic’s place.

If it happens after that time but before the first-round match, he will be replaced by a lucky loser from qualifying.

Novak Djokovic drawn against countryman as Australian Open uncertainty continues

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