Melbourne | Coming to Melbourne to make tennis history even more, Novak Djokovic had to leave Australia on Sunday without playing a single match and after losing a legal battle that could permanently damage his image.
• Read also: Serbia angry at Djokovic’s “scandalous” expulsion from Australia
An AFP journalist on this flight indicated that Djokovic, accompanied through the corridors of Melbourne Airport by the Australian Federal Police, boarded a plane bound for Dubai.
The world number one and his coaches left Melbourne at 10:51 pm and are expected to arrive in Dubai on Monday around 5 am local time, without knowing what their final destination will be.
That nasty departure, as he eyed a 10th Australian Open title and 21st Grand Slam title, synonymous with a record-breaking record, is the epilogue of an eleven-day soap opera that blends politics and diplomacy against the backdrop of opposition to anti-COVID vaccination.
On Sunday, three Australian Federal Court judges ruled on Djoko’s fate, rejecting his appeal against the cancellation of his visa and his expulsion from the country.
“The court orders the dismissal of the lawsuit at the expense of the plaintiff,” said Chief Justice James Olsop.
“I am very disappointed,” Djokovic replied in a press release.
The player, whose career, at least in Australia, may suffer severely from this setback, said the visa cancellation comes with a three-year ban on Australian soil.
In court, his lawyers described the arrest and deportation of their client as “irrational”, “irrational” and “unreasonable”. Without persuading the three Federal Court judges who unanimously rejected the appeal.
In his conclusions filed on Saturday in the same court, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said the presence in Australia of Djokovic, who has never hidden his opposition to coronavirus vaccination, “is likely to present a health risk”.
He said it encouraged “anti-vaccination sentiment” and could deter Australians from getting booster doses, as the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly across the country.
Novak Djokovic was banned upon arrival in Australia on January 5 and placed under administrative detention.
The player, who contracted COVID-19 in December, had hoped for an exemption to enter the country without a vaccination, but the authorities did not accept that explanation.
The Australian government suffered a humiliating setback on January 10 when a judge blocked Djokovic’s deportation, reinstated his visa, and ordered his immediate release from the temporary detention center where he had been placed.
But the immigration minister counterattacked on Friday and canceled his visa for a second time under his discretionary powers, citing “reasons of health and public order”.
The Australian government welcomed its legal victory on Sunday, in the midst of an election campaign in a country whose residents have struggled for nearly two years from some of the world’s toughest anti-Covid restrictions.
“Australia’s robust border protection policy has kept us safe during the pandemic,” Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement.
“Australians have made great sacrifices to get here and the Morrison government is deeply committed to protecting this position,” he added.
In Serbia, where Djokovic is considered a national hero, Australia’s decision sparked outrage.
“They have humiliated themselves, and Djokovic can go home with his head held high and looking straight into everyone’s eyes,” President Aleksandar Vucic said of Australia’s leaders.
“Despite this scandalous decision, we believe that Novak has emerged victorious once again,” the Serbian Olympic Committee added.
For the ATP, which runs the men’s professional circuit, the Australian court’s decision “brings an end to a series of very unfortunate events”.
She also noted that Djokovic was “one of the greatest champions in our sport and his absence from the Australian Open is a loss for tennis.”
Among the players, Vasek Pospisil, a close friend of ‘Djoko’, defended this by reminding that ‘Novak would never have gone to Australia if he had not obtained an exemption from the government to enter this country’.
“I don’t like that he finds himself in this situation and I don’t like the fact that he has been detained,” Andy Murray lamented, while Miomir Kikmanovic, the Serbian player who was to face Djokovic on Monday, hoped for “revenge for the best actor (for Serbia) who was banned from being here.” “.
Australian Djokovic’s fiasco makes at least one person happy, Italian Salvatore Caruso (150 .).e worldwide) which benefits from its position asBad luck(He was eliminated from the playoffs, but was drafted thanks to this package), he will replace him at the Australian Open and on Monday night he will play in his place.
“It’s a bit special to be Bad luck The most famous in history.
“Pop culture maven. Unapologetic student. Avid introvert. Gamer. Problem solver. Tv fanatic.”