Novak Djokovic wins appeal against deportation from Australia
Novak Djokovic is stepping up his preparations for the Australian Open after winning his fight with the nation’s government over his visa – for now, at least. Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke is still considering the possibility of “a personal power of cancellation”, a move which could yet drag on for several days.
The world number one took part in a training session at the Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday that was shrouded in secrecy after tournament organisers closed the doors to the practice and cut the live stream of the court. Tennis Australia later released video of the session but reports on the ground indicated an “uncomfortable” situation for the Serbian.
Both of his parents have been outspoken during the course of the appeal, with his father claiming victory for human rights and free speech in “a young man from a small, poor country” defeating “big, powerful people” in the courts. Djokovic’s mother, meanwhile, compared his treatment to being “subjected to torture, to harassment”.
However, none of his family opted to answer questions surrounding the tennis star’s positive Covid result from December, ending a press conference when the matter arose on Monday. Court documents show Djokovic testing positive on 16 December, but the following day he was apparently photographed in public settings without a mask and with children in attendance. Follow all the latest news and reaction from Djokovic’s hearing below.
Djokovic receives ‘uncomfortable’ reception at practice
Novak Djokovic received an “uncomfortable” reception from fellow players as he took part in a secret training session at the Australian Open on Tuesday, according to reports.
Djokovic was released from an immigration facility on Monday after winning his appeal against deportation from the country and says he is “focused” on defending his Australian Open title.
While Djokovic is still facing the possibility of having his visa revoked, as the Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke considers whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation, the nine-time Australian Open champion has returned to training ahead of the start of the tournament on 17 January.
Djokovic took part in a training session at the Rod Laver Arena, that was shrouded in secrecy after tournament organisers closed the doors to the practice and cut the live stream of the court.
Tennis Australia later released video of Djokovic practicing with coach Goran Ivanisevic, but the world No. 1 was also said to have taken part in an indoor gym session.
And according to New York Times reporter Ben Rothenberg, who quoted a source in the facility, “the place went silent with everyone staring. Talk about uncomfortable.”
Ben Burrows11 January 2022 18:48
Murray says Djokovic still has questions to answer
Andy Murray has said Novak Djokovic still has questions to answer over his controversial entry into Australia, despite the world No 1 winning an appeal against being deported from the country.
Djokovic has yet to face the media since his release on Monday, despite taking part in two practice sessions at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. In a post on social media, in which he confirmed he would be playing the Australian Open as planned, Djokovic said: “For now I cannot say more”.
And while Murray, a long-time friend and rival of Djokovic, welcomed his the outcome of the court hearing and his release, the former British No 1 said he must address those remaining questions ahead of the start of the tournament on 17 January.
“It’s positive that he’s not in detention any more,” Murray said, after he stepped up his Australian Open preparations with his first win of the season at the Sydney International Classic.
“Obviously he won in court so that’s a positive thing for him. Hopefully he will be able to concentrate on the tennis now.
“I think there are still a few questions that need to be answered around the isolation and stuff, which I’m sure we’ll hear from him in the next few days.”
Ben Burrows11 January 2022 18:25
Kyrgios “embarrassed” to be Australian athlete
Nick Kyrgios is “embarrassed” to be an Australian athlete due to the way Djokovic’s visa situation has played out.
“We know that the media like to create s***-storms, with my story and everything going on with Novak,” said Kyrgios “I feel quite embarrassed as an Australian athlete who’s seen what this guy has done for us and for the sport.
“I just don’t think it’s right how we’re handling it, but the media loves to do that, loves to divide.”
Sarah Rendell11 January 2022 18:00
Djokovic treatment not an “insult”
Comedian David Baddiel has tweeted about Djokovic and the situation that has unfolded over the past few days. He has suggested the world no. 1’s…