Djokovic eyes Australian Open after visa victory

Djokovic eyes Australian Open after visa victory

A supporter of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic holds his photo during a rally outside the Park Hotel, where the star athlete is believed to be held while he stays in Australia, in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. (Reuters photo)
A supporter of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic holds his photo during a rally outside the Park Hotel, where the star athlete is believed to be held while he stays in Australia, in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. (Reuters photo)

Novak Djokovic on Monday said he hoped to still compete in the Australian Open while his mother said the decision to overturn his visa cancellation was the "biggest victory in his career."

The ruling overturned the cancellation of his visa on Covid-19 health grounds, and ending his detention, potentially clearing the way for his attempt on an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam singles title.

The first Grand Slam of the year begins next Monday in Melbourne.

"Despite all that has happened,I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen. I remain focused on that," Djokovic tweeted.

His mother Dijana appearing at a press conference in Belgrade called it "the biggest victory in his career, bigger than all his grand slams".

His brother Djordje said justice had been served.

"Truth and justice came to the light. I would like to thank the justice system of Australia," said his brother Djordje, adding Djokovic had been able to train since being released from detention.

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic's brother Djordje holds a press conference in Belgrade, on Monday, after a judge in Australia overturned the cancellation of his brother's visa over his Covid-19 vaccination status, ending five days of detention in Melbourne, where he had arrived ahead of the Australian Open. (AFP photo)

The 34-year-old Serbian had been held for several nights in an immigration detention facility in Melbourne after he failed to present a solid medical reason for not being jabbed against Covid-19.

Djokovic has not been vaccinated against Covid-19 and armed with a medical exemption from the Australia Open organisers had arrived in Melbourne last Wednesday ahead of the first Grand Slam of the season.

However, immigration officials decided the champion had failed to present a solid medical reason for not being jabbed.

Despite losing in court the Australian government has warned it could still force Djokovic to leave by cancelling his visa for a second time, which would see the Serb miss the Australian Open, which starts on January 17.


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