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Djokovic wins deportation delay after Australia cancels visa


Agency Report

Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic won a temporary reprieve in his deportation from Australia on Thursday, but is set to spend the night in an immigration detention facility as he fights to remain in the country.

The vaccine-sceptic Serb was detained at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport having failed to “provide appropriate evidence” of double vaccination, or a medical exemption needed to enter the country.

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Djokovic had jetted into Australia on Wednesday hoping to defend his Australian Open crown and to bid for an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam title.

Instead of a conquering champion’s welcome, he was questioned at the airport overnight before having his visa revoked and being transferred to a Melbourne immigration detention facility pending deportation.

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After an emergency online court appeal, a judge ordered that the controversial star would not be removed from Australia before Monday, when a final hearing is scheduled to begin.

With scarcely 10 days before the tournament, it remains far from clear that Djokovic will be able to play, even if he wins in court.

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Judge Anthony Kelly warned that justice will move at its own pace through all necessary appeals. “The tail won’t be tagging the dog here,” he warned the star’s lawyers.