Djokovic in Australian Open draw but still faces threat of deportation

13 January 2022, 07:17 | Updated: 13 January 2022, 08:21

Djokovic is currently set to play in the first round of the Australian Open
Djokovic is currently set to play in the first round of the Australian Open. Picture: Getty

By Daisy Stephens

Novak Djokovic has been included in the first round of the Australian Open despite still waiting to hear whether or not he can remain in the country.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The 34-year-old won his appeal against the Australian government but is still waiting to hear whether his visa will be revoked anyway.

But despite this he has been drawn to play against fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic in the tournament.

Read more: 'I want to stay' says Djokovic, but bid to play in Australian Open still hangs in balance

Read more: Djokovic's wife calls for 'love and forgiveness' as tennis star held in anti-vax row

The draw, which was due to take place at 4am UK-time, was delayed to 5.15am, sparking speculation that a decision was imminent about whether the Serb could remain in the country.

But he ended up being included despite no official decision being made about his visa status.

Djokovic's brother says star is back on tennis court

Djokovic was dramatically detained when he arrived in Melbourne last week, because of questions over his Covid vaccination status.

He claimed to be exempt due to recently being infected with coronavirus, and went on to win his appeal on Monday.

He was freed from the detention hotel in which he spent nearly five days, and vowed to "try to compete" in the Australian Open.

Read more: Anti-vaxx tennis star Novak Djokovic breaks silence amid Covid visa row

Read more: Defiant Boris clings on after Cabinet support but senior Tories call for him to quit

But there remained an option for the immigration minister Alex Hawke - he could decide to use his personal power to revoke the tennis star's visa anyway.

A decision has not yet been made, but the move would be a "nuclear option", according to Australian journalist Paul Karp.

"If they use this power he will be deported from Australia and cannot come back for three years, so as the judge observed at the end of the hearing today, the stakes have actually risen than receded because we're now talking about whether he can play in the 2022, 2023 and 2024 Australian opens," he told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on Monday, shortly after Djokovic won the appeal.

"It could even affect whether Australia is able to host the Australian open tournament in the next three years."

Andrew Castle says the Djokovic saga has eclipsed the tennis

Whilst it may have been key to remaining in Australia - even if only temporarily - Djokovic's exemption landed him in hot water earlier this week.

He said he did not need his Covid vaccines to enter Australia because he had a positive Covid test on December 16.

But he then had to explain his actions after it was revealed he attended a children's tennis event on December 17, and did an interview with a French journalist on December 18.

Read more: Djokovic admits 'error of judgment' by breaking isolation rules while Covid positive

Read more: Prince Andrew to face civil sex case after US judge rules trial can go ahead

Taking to Instagram, the 20-times grand slam winner explained he did not receive the positive result until after the tennis event on December 17.

Doing the interview on December 18 whilst knowing he had Covid was an "error of judgement", he said, admitting: "I should have rescheduled this commitment."

"I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L'Equipe interview as I didn't want to let the journalist down, but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was taken," he wrote.

"While I went home after the interview to isolate for the required period, on reflection, this was an error of judgement and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment."

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right party PVV, or Party for Freedom, talks to the media

Dutch coalition government dominated by far-right struggles to find PM

Former President Donald Trump speaks at Manhattan Criminal court

Judge in Trump documents case to hear more arguments on dismissing charges

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, centre, speaks to Brig. Giles Harris, commander of British forces in Estonia, left, and Ross Allen, British ambassador to Estonia, at an undisclosed location in Es

Russia waging ‘shadow war’ on West, says Estonian leader

New Caledonia, a French territory, plagued by deadly riots

French ‘paradise’ plunges into chaos amid deadly riots forcing terrified Brits to flee holidays

Finnish foreign minister Elina Valtonen attends a press conference near the Vaalimaa border checkpoint between Finland and Russia in Virolahti, Finland

Baltic Sea nations react warily to ‘Russian proposal’ to revise maritime border

Hunter Biden walks to board Air Force One at John F. Kennedy International Airport

Hunter Biden seeks delay in Los Angeles tax trial

Veteran Sherpa guide Kami Rita returning after scaling Mount Everest for the 28th time arrives at the airport in Kathmandu, Nepalhmandu, Nepal

Sherpa guide Kami Rita climbs Mount Everest for record 30th time

APTOPIX Severe Weather Iowa

Multiple deaths confirmed from a tornado in Iowa

Villa Alma Park in Männedorf

Woman killed by ‘screaming naked’ man who ‘attacked multiple people’ in Swiss park

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, centre with black turban, leads a prayer over the flag-draped coffins of the late President Ebrahim Raisi and his companions who were killed in a helicop

Iran’s supreme leader leads prayers for president killed in helicopter crash

Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store speaks during a news conference in Oslo, Norway

Israel recalls ambassadors as Norway, Ireland and Spain recognise Palestine

Sean 'Diddy' Combs

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs accused of 2003 sexual assault

German’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock speaks to Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko during official visit to a thermal power plant which was destroyed by a Russian rocket attack in Ukr

Ukraine hit with blackouts after Russian attacks on power grid

The killer whale incident

Swimmer who 'body slammed' killer whale branded 'stupid and reckless' after video shows him leaping onto orcas

Russian troops load an Iskander missile as part of drills to train the military for using tactical nuclear weapons at an undisclosed location in Russia

Russia begins nuclear drills in apparent warning to West over Ukraine

Passengers have described the scenes on board Singapore Airlines flight SQ321

'Blood everywhere' inside the cabin: Passengers 'blacked out' in severe turbulence on Singapore Airlines flight