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World Tennis Champion Djokovic Ordered to Leave Australia

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Tennis champion Novak Djokovic’s visa was cancelled by an Australian court on Sunday, ending his chances of winning the Australian Open and earning a record-breaking 21 Grand Slam titles.

A three-judge bench of Australia’s Federal Court heard arguments from government lawyers that Djokovic’s continued presence could whip up anti-vaccination sentiment when Australia is experiencing its most severe outbreak of Cvoid-19 since it began during the pandemic.

The world number one tennis player’s medical exemption to enter Australia without any vaccination sparked outrage in Australia. It also became a political hot potato for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who faces a federal election this May.

Despite being “extremely disappointed” with the decision to cancel his visa, the world tennis champion said he would cooperate with authorities regarding his exit from Australia.

He also expressed his hope that the focus will now turn to tennis and the Australian Open Grand Slam, which begins in Melbourne on Monday.

Tennis star encouraged anti-vaccination sentiment

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke cancelled Djokovic’s visa despite a petition from the tennis star. The Immigration Minister claimed he was a threat to public order because his presence would encourage anti-vaccination sentiment amid Australia’s most severe Covid-19 outbreak.

I will now take some time to rest and recover before making any further statements,” Djokovic said in a statement after the court dismissed the case.

I am extremely disappointed with the Court’s decision to dismiss my judicial review application. This means I am not able to participate in the Australian Open because I cannot stay in Australia.

It is my intention to cooperate with the relevant authorities as I prepare to leave the country based on the Court’s ruling.”

The world tennis champion was granted a medical exemption to compete at Melbourne Park, where he has won nine times, including the last three editions.

Following a rollercoaster 10 days of being detained by authorities, released, and then detained again ahead of the Australian Open, his fate was finally decided.

In an interview with ABC News, Rafael Nadal said “too many questions” remained concerning the Serb’s bid to play the tournament. Other top players complained how the saga has overshadowed the tournament.

“It is uncomfortable for me that the focus has been on me in the past few weeks, and I hope that we can now focus on the game and tournament I love,” said Djokovic, who also thanked those who supported him.

“I wish all the best to the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers, and fans of the tournament.”

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