clearn.png
Tuesday January 25th, 2022 3:55AM

Djokovic's appeal of canceled visa moves to higher court

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic’s effort to play in the Australian Open despite being unvaccinated for COVID-19 moved to a higher court Saturday as the No. 1-ranked tennis player appealed the second cancellation of his visa.

Djokovic was not seen on the online feed available to the public for the 15-minute procedural hearing, which began just two days before he is scheduled to play his first match of 2022 at Melbourne Park.

Judge David O'Callaghan ruled that lawyers representing Djokovic and the government would need to submit written arguments later Saturday, and he scheduled another hearing for Sunday morning.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke blocked the 34-year-old Serb’s visa, which was originally revoked when he landed at a Melbourne airport last week. But it was restored Monday by a judge on procedural grounds because Djokovic was not allowed to have a lawyer with him at the airport.

Deportation from Australia can lead to a three-year ban on returning to the country, although that may be waived, depending on the circumstances.

Djokovic has acknowledged that his travel declaration was incorrect because it failed to indicate that he had been in multiple countries over the two weeks before his arrival in Australia.

He has a record nine Australian Open titles, including the past three in a row, part of his overall Grand Slam haul of 20 championships. He is tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the most by a man in history.

In a post on social media Wednesday that constituted his most extensive public comments yet the episode, Djokovic blamed his agent for checking the wrong box on the form, calling it “a human error and certainly not deliberate.”

In that same post, Djokovic said he went ahead with an interview and a photo shoot with a French newspaper in Serbia despite knowing he had tested positive for COVID-19 two days earlier. Djokovic has been attempting to use what he says was a positive test taken on Dec. 16 to justify a medical exemption that would allow him to skirt the vaccine requirement on the grounds that he already had COVID-19.

Hawke said he canceled the visa on “health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.” His statement added that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government “is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The main idea of the appeal of Hawke’s decision, according to the athlete’s lawyers, was that it was not based on the health risk that Djokovic might pose by not being vaccinated, but on how he might be perceived by anti-vaxxers.

Morrison himself welcomed Djokovic’s pending deportation. The episode has touched a nerve in Australia, and particularly in Victoria state, where locals went through hundreds of days of lockdowns during the worst of the pandemic and there is a vaccination rate among adults of more than 90%.

Australia faces a massive surge in virus cases driven by the highly transmissible omicron variant. On Friday, the nation reported 130,000 new cases, including nearly 35,000 in Victoria state. Although many infected people aren’t getting as sick as they did in previous outbreaks, the surge is still putting severe strain on the health system, with more than 4,400 people hospitalized. It has also disrupted workplaces and supply chains.

“This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian, but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods. ... Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected,” Morrison said. “This is what the Minister is doing in taking this action today.”

His supporters in Serbia have been dismayed by the visa cancellations.

Everyone at the Australian Open — including players, their support teams and spectators — is required to be vaccinated. Djokovic is not inoculated.

His exemption was approved by the Victoria state government and Tennis Australia, apparently allowing him to obtain a visa to travel. But the Australian Border Force rejected the exemption and canceled his visa when he landed in the country on Jan. 5.

Djokovic spent four nights in an immigration detention hotel before a judge overturned that decision. That ruling allowed him to move freely around Australia and he has been practicing at Melbourne Park daily.

“It’s not a good situation for anyone,” said Andy Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion and five-time runner-up at the Australian Open. "It just seems like it’s dragged on for quite a long time now.”

According to Grand Slam rules, if Djokovic is forced to pull out of the tournament before the order of play for Day 1 is announced, No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev would move into Djokovic’s spot in the bracket.

If Djokovic withdraws from the tournament after Monday’s schedule is released, he would be replaced in the field by what’s known as a “lucky loser” — a player who loses in the qualifying tournament but gets into the main draw because of another player’s exit before competition has started.

And if Djokovic plays in a match — or more — and then is told he can no longer participate in the tournament, his next opponent would simply advance to the following round and there would be no replacement.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Tennis, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Sports - Men's Tennis
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Big finish by Henley stakes him to early 3-shot lead at Sony
Russell Henley has a hard time believing it was nine years ago when he began his PGA Tour career by winning the Sony Open
7:24PM ( 19 minutes ago )
No charges for 151 Arizona votes vetted over fraud claims
A review of potential voter fraud cases in the 2020 general election in Arizona’s second-largest county ended Friday with an announcement by county prosecutors that none of the 151 cases they reviewed merited criminal charges
7:13PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Bond revoked for businessman accused of killing employee
An Oklahoma judge has revoked the bond of a local white businessman accused of killing a Black man who worked for him
7:13PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Transgender athlete ban, backed by Noem, clears committee
A South Dakota legislative committee has approved a bill championed by Gov. Kristi Noem to ban transgender women and girls from participating in school sports leagues that match their gender identity
5:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
Big-name women's basketball programs returning to prominence
Big-name women's basketball programs like No. 5 Tennessee and No. 12 LSU are making a return to prominence this year
5:17PM ( 2 hours ago )
ACC commissioner says CFP expansion should be put on hold
Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips says now is not the time for College Football Playoff expansion
3:19PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
Djokovic entangles sponsors in Australian Open vax uproar
A lot of people are angry at Novak Djokovic
11:34AM ( 8 hours ago )
Double-fault: Visa revoked again, Djokovic faces deportation
Tennis star Novak Djokovic faces deportation again after the Australian government revoked his visa for a second time
6:50AM ( 12 hours ago )
TIMELINE: Novak Djokovic's bid to compete at Australian Open
The Australian government has revoked tennis star Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time, just three days before the Australian Open begins
3:07AM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online Tennis
Michigan AG asks feds to investigate fake GOP electors
Michigan’s attorney general is asking federal prosecutors to open a criminal investigation into 16 Republicans who submitted false certificates stating they were the state’s presidential electors despite Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in 2020
6:34PM ( 1 hour ago )
Witnesses: Man jumped onto truck hood before fatal shooting
Two witnesses say a man shot by an off-duty North Carolina sheriff's deputy jumped onto the hood of the deputy’s truck
6:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
N. Korea fires fresh missiles in response to US sanctions
North Korea has fired what appears to be two short-range ballistic missiles in its third weapons launch this month in an apparent reprisal for fresh sanctions imposed by the Biden administration
5:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Biden team regroups after high court loss on shots-or-test
The White House is pushing ahead with efforts to prod people to get COVID-19 shots after the Supreme Court put a halt to the administration’s sweeping vaccinate-or-test plan for large employers
4:22PM ( 3 hours ago )
UK leader's office apologizes for party before royal funeral
Boris Johnson’s office has apologized to the royal family for a lockdown-breaching staff parties in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philips funeral
3:46PM ( 3 hours ago )
Shkreli ordered to return $64M, is barred from drug industry
A federal judge has ordered Martin Shkreli to return $64.6 million in profits reaped from inflating the price of a lifesaving drug and barred him from the pharmaceutical industry for the rest of his life
3:39PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Study: More evidence links a virus to multiple sclerosis
A new study offers stronger evidence that one of the world's most common viruses may set some people on the path to developing multiple sclerosis
9:33AM ( 10 hours ago )
Bad luck: Pope acknowledges he got caught at record store
Pope Francis has long lamented that he can’t walk around town unnoticed like he used to before becoming pope
9:20AM ( 10 hours ago )
December retail sales slide 1.9% amid shortages, omicron
Americans, beset by product shortages, rising prices and the arrival of omicron, sharply cut their spending in December after a burst of spending in the fall that helped bolster the holiday season
8:43AM ( 11 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Crowds protest sanctions, pressure, after Mali vote delay
Thousands have joined in a government-sponsored rally in Mali’s capital to protest new regional economic sanctions and growing pressure from former colonizer France, after Mali’s military ruler pushed back promised elections by four years
4:26PM ( 3 hours ago )
Ukraine hacks add to worries of cyber conflict with Russia
Hackers have temporarily shut down dozens of Ukrainian government websites, causing no major damage but adding to simmering tensions while Russia amasses troops on the Ukrainian border
4:14PM ( 3 hours ago )
DSquared2 designers welcome fashion crowd back to Milan
Milan fashion houses were charting a path out of the pandemic that included a menswear calendar packed with 22 live runway shows and another 18 physical presentations this month
4:10PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
Ons Jabeur retires from Sydney quarterfinal with back injury
Ons Jabeur has been forced to retire hurt in her Sydney Tennis Classic quarterfinal, allowing Anett Kontaveit to move through the semifinals
3:45AM ( 1 day ago )
Australia nears decision on whether to deport Djokovic
Novak Djokovic has remained in limbo even after he was included in the draw for the Australian Open, with the tennis star still awaiting a government decision on whether to deport him for not being vaccinated for COVID-19
2:15AM ( 1 day ago )
Djokovic admits travel declaration had incorrect information
Novak Djokovic has acknowledged that his Australian travel declaration form contained incorrect information, as the government nears a decision on whether to deport the Serbian tennis star, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, on public interest grounds
11:43PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Men's Tennis
Big finish by Henley stakes him to early 3-shot lead at Sony
Russell Henley has a hard time believing it was nine years ago when he began his PGA Tour career by winning the Sony Open
7:24PM ( 19 minutes ago )
No charges for 151 Arizona votes vetted over fraud claims
A review of potential voter fraud cases in the 2020 general election in Arizona’s second-largest county ended Friday with an announcement by county prosecutors that none of the 151 cases they reviewed merited criminal charges
7:13PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Bond revoked for businessman accused of killing employee
An Oklahoma judge has revoked the bond of a local white businessman accused of killing a Black man who worked for him
7:13PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Thieves raiding rail cargo containers in Los Angeles
Thieves have been raiding cargo containers aboard trains nearing downtown Los Angeles for months, leaving the tracks blanketed with discarded packages
6:50PM ( 52 minutes ago )
Garbage and recyclables pile up as omicron takes its toll
The omicron variant is sickening so many sanitation workers around the U.S. that some cities have had to delay or suspend garbage and recycling pickup, angering residents shocked that governments can’t perform this most basic of functions
6:48PM ( 54 minutes ago )