Novak Djokovic back in detention as Australia cancels visa again

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 15, 2022, 07:37 AM(IST)

Australia says Novak Djokovic's presence 'may foster anti-vaccination sentiment'. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic accuses Australia of "mistreating" Djokovic

Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic was detained in Australia again on Saturday (January 15) after the government authorities revoked his visa for a second time. The 'unvaccinated player' was declared a threat to the public. 

Djokovic's bid for a record 21st Grand Slam title has been marred by controversies over his stance of not getting the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. 

The visa row, which is being heard by the Australian court, became a massive hurdle for his participation in this year's first Grand Slam - the Australian Open. 

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While cancelling the visa, the Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on Friday said that Djokovic's ongoing presence in the country might cause an "increase in anti-vaccination sentiment" or even "civil unrest".

Court documents showed the 34-year-old Serbian was currently being detained at an address in Melbourne, as his appeal against deportation is heard. 

In a separate court filing, Australian authorities argued Djokovic's continued presence in the country "may foster anti-vaccination sentiment" and called for his removal. 

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Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic accuses Australia of "mistreating" tennis star Novak Djokovic after authorities revoked his visa for a second time.

The Serbian leader's comments come hours after Australia stripped Djokovic of his visa on Friday and plans to detain him, just days ahead of his bid to win a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Osaka and Nadal react

Defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka called the Djokovic saga "unfortunate" and "sad" as players complained the scandal was overshadowing the opening Grand Slam of the year.

"I think it's an unfortunate situation. He's such a great player and it's kind of sad that some people might remember (him) in this way," she said on Saturday, two days before the start of the tournament.

On the other hand, Rafael Nadal took a swipe at Djokovic on Saturday (Jan 15), saying: "The Australian Open is much more important than any player."

Ahead of the start of the Grand Slam on Monday, Nadal told reporters at Melbourne Park: "Australian Open will be a great Australian Open with or without him." 

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