Novak Djokovic’s visa canceled; Serbian tennis star will miss 2022 Australian Open

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Written By Josh Thomas, Liam O’Loughlin

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Novak Djokovic has unanimously lost his appeal in Federal Court, and his visa has been canceled. 

The 34-year-old will now be deported and miss the upcoming Australian Open, despite being drawn to play in the first round by tournament organizers. 

MORE: Australian Open draws change without Djokovic

The case was heard in front of the full bench of the Federal Court on Sunday with three judges on hand to make the final decision. 

Immigration minister Alex Hawke’s decision to revoke Djokovic’s visa was argued based around the Serbian’s COVID-19 vaccination status and views which they believe could incite anti-vax sentiment in Australia. 

Djokovic’s defense countered that there was a lack of evidence to support such claims, while also suggesting his deportation could spark greater public outcry. 

MORE: Djokovic camp refuses to answer questions alleging his failure to isolate with COVID-19

The hearing began at 9.30 a.m. Australia time and didn’t finish until 5.55 p.m. Sunday.

Djokovic had his visa canceled twice over the past fortnight after his medical exemption to enter Australia without being vaccinated was overturned. 

The whole saga has dominated the news cycle leading up to the Australian Open, with Nick Kyrgios siding with Djokovic while the likes of Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas were more critical. 

MORE: Did Nadal receive preferential COVID-19 treatment from Australia compared to Djokovic?

Djokovic has won the Australian Open a record nine times and is currently tied with Nadal and Roger Federer with 20 men’s singles Grand Slam titles. 

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