Novak Djokovic readies vaccine exemption case for Australian visa showdown | Tennis News

MELBOURNE: Tennis world primary Novak Djokovic ready his authorized weapons Sunday for a battle to remain in Melbourne and defend his Australian Open title, arguing he has the all-clear due to a optimistic coronavirus check in December.
Djokovic’s combat to overturn the shock cancellation of his visa and his ensuing detention in a infamous Melbourne immigration facility will culminate in a extremely publicised on-line listening to in federal court docket on Monday.
The vaccine-sceptic Serbian star awaited the showdown holed up within the former Park Hotel, a five-storey facility that holds about 32 migrants trapped in Australia’s hardline immigration system — some for years.

Nobody is allowed in or out besides employees.
A handful of protesters gathered Sunday morning on the road exterior, the place lots of of followers, anti-vaccination demonstrators and migrant rights activists had rallied in social gathering temper the day before today.
With eight days to go earlier than the January 17 begin of the Australian Open, any delay may sprint the 34-year-old’s hopes of profitable his tenth crown in Melbourne, and a report twenty first Grand Slam title.


Novak Djokovic (AFP Photo)
In an order launched to the general public Sunday, Judge Anthony Kelly mentioned the case will go forward as scheduled at 10 am Monday (2300 GMT Sunday), refusing a authorities request to adjourn till Wednesday.
Djokovic’s attorneys submitted a 35-page doc Saturday arguing his visa was wrongly cancelled and must be reinstated, permitting him free to compete.
The group has argued that Djokovic’s optimistic PCR check on December 16, 2021 means he meets the standards for a vaccine exemption below the steerage of Australia’s personal immunisation advisory physique.

Tennis Australia cleared him for an exemption to play within the event, after his utility was accepted by two unbiased medical panels, his attorneys mentioned.
Australia’s authorities, nonetheless, insists a current coronavirus an infection solely counts as an exemption for residents, not for international nationals making an attempt to enter the nation.
Foreigners are nonetheless largely banned from journey to Australia, and people granted entry should be absolutely vaccinated or have a medical exemption.


AFP Photo
Despite Djokovic’s declare of a optimistic check on December 16, footage shared by the Belgrade tennis federation confirmed Djokovic at a younger gamers’ occasion within the metropolis on December 17.
It reported that he had handed over cups and prizes to the perfect younger gamers. No one was sporting a masks.
Djokovic had additionally attended one other gathering on December 16, when the Serbian nationwide postal service launched a collection of stamps in his honour.
“Thank you to my generous country for this rare gift! I’m humbled!!,” he mentioned on Instagram on the time.
The tennis ace’s attorneys argue that he confronted an “unfair procedure”, claiming Australian border brokers held him for eight hours at Melbourne airport, largely “incommunicado”.
Djokovic had requested for time to relaxation and seek the advice of his attorneys however border brokers efficiently pressured him to permit them to take a right away resolution and cancel his visa, they mentioned.
Since being moved into the Park Hotel detention centre, his pleas to be moved to a different facility the place he can prepare for the Australian Open have fallen on deaf ears, the attorneys mentioned.
The centre holding him gained notoriety final 12 months when a hearth pressured migrants to be evacuated, and maggots have been allegedly discovered within the meals.
Prime Minister Ana Brnabic mentioned this weekend that Serbia was absolutely behind the participant and she or he had held “constructive talks” with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne.
“We managed that he gets gluten-free food, exercise equipment, a laptop,” she instructed Serbia’s Pink tv.
In an inside video leaked Saturday, Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley mentioned his organisation had completed “everything they possibly could”.


AP Photo
“There is a lot… of blaming going on but I can assure you our team has done an unbelievable job,” he mentioned within the footage revealed by the Sunday Herald Sun newspaper.
A second tennis participant who was headed to the Australian Open — Czech doubles specialist Renata Voracova — had her visa was cancelled after initially being allowed into the nation, her authorities has confirmed.
She flew out of Australia on Saturday evening, an Australian authorities supply mentioned, after being held in the identical Melbourne centre as Djokovic.
She described the expertise to Czech media as being “a bit like in prison”.
As a lot of Australia tightened restrictions to battle a wave of infections fuelled by the Omicron virus variant, the state of Victoria — of which Melbourne is the capital — reported 44,155 instances Sunday.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended revoking Djokovic’s visa, saying: “Rules are rules.”
The federal decide listening to Djokovic’s case warned his attorneys in a listening to Thursday that justice would transfer at its personal tempo by means of all essential appeals.
“The tail won’t be wagging the dog here,” he mentioned.

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