Novak Djokovic, after the sentence of Australia against him: “I am deeply disappointed”

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic said on Sunday he was “deeply disappointed” by the cancellation of his visa in Australia after losing his appeal in court to that government decision.

The Balkan athlete, who intended to defend his crown at the Australian Open in Melbourne from Monday, admitted in a statement that, due to the decision, “he will not be able to participate” in the tournament.

The decision against Novak Djokovic was unanimous

A room of judges of the Federal Court decided unanimously this Sunday that the cancellation of the tennis player’s visa by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has a legal basis, and therefore Djokovic will be deported.

The Serbian, held in a hotel since Saturday, asked in his letter for time to “rest and recover” before making further comments, noting that he “respects” the decision of the Australian justice after “cooperating” with the authorities.

“Unfortunately for the last few weeks the focus (of interest) has been on me and I hope that (now) we can focus on the sport and the tournament that I love,” said Djokovic, wishing the participants luck and thanking his family for their support and followers.

The Serbian was scheduled to make his debut on Monday at the Rod Laver Arena center court, a venue that saw him win the Open nine times, but after the court decision, the organization of the event will have to replace the current ATP number one tennis player.

Djokovic traveled to Melbourne on January 5 with a medical exemption for not being vaccinated, having recently been infected with covid-19, although upon arrival the Immigration authorities canceled his visa and detained him until his release last Monday for a court order considering that he was not treated with “equity”.

The tennis player was arrested again this Saturday after the new cancellation of his visa and is isolated in the Park hotel in Melbourne before his deportation, which has not transpired when it will happen.

Novak Djokovic’s full statement

I would like to make a brief statement to address the results of today’s court hearing. I will now take some time to rest and recover, before making any further comments beyond this.

I am deeply disappointed with the Court’s decision to dismiss my request for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to cancel my visa, which means that I am unable to stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open.

I respect the Court’s ruling and will cooperate with the relevant authorities regarding my departure from the country.

It bothers me that the focus for the past few weeks has been on me and I hope that now we can all focus on the game and the tournament that I love. I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament.

Finally, I would like to thank my family, friends, team, supporters, fans and my fellow Serbs for their continued support. You all have been a great source of strength for me.


Robin Herman

Robin Herman was an American writer and journalist. She was the first female sports journalist for The New York Times and People News Chronicle. Herman had a successful and eclectic career, ranging from sports writing to assistant dean of communications for Harvard school of Public Health.

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