Djokovic visa cancelled again ‘in public interest’

Djokovic visa cancelled a second time

Not quite on the eve of the Australian Open but certainly after the draw had been set, Australia’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has cancelled nine-time champion Novak Djokovic’s visa.

‘Grounds of public interest’ behind decision

After days of speculation following Djokovic’s initial visa cancellation being overturned on a technicality, and just a day after the Australian Open main draw was made, his visa has been cancelled again, and in a statement from Alex Hawke, he makes it clear that the reasoning is for the benefit of public interest.

How did we get here?

In our previous coverage, we looked at the initial factors that saw the nine-time Australian Open champion banged up in a detention hotel.

However, his release threw up more questions than answers. Initially Djokovic had said he was tested and diagnosed on the same day, but appeared at an unveiling of a stamp in his honour, a children’s prize giving, an interview and photoshoot with L’Equipe and managed to travel to Spain for a spot of training.

In his interview with border officials, he said he had not travelled, and has even raised the eyebrow of the Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic affirmed that attending events after a positive test was a breach of their own Covid-19 protocols.

The simmering anger that has been brewing ever since Djokovic announced on Instagram that he was on his way to Australia seems to have now come back full-circle.

Whether you believe in the need for vaccinations or that Djokovic is a principled man. At the end of the day there were clear issues in his behaviour. 

He knew he was positive, yet asymptomatic and claimed he did not want to let the interviewer down for the L’Equipe interview.

He suggested his agent had made a mistake on the visa application form regarding not having travelled elsewhere.

It is just difficult to reconcile this as the behavior of a conscientious person, regardless of his own personal choice regarding the Covid-19 vaccine.

But the Australian Open starts on Monday!

Yes indeed! So, the options now are running out for Djokovic. His legal team are considering an appeal, and more importantly the decision on whether Djokovic will be served a three year ban to go with his plate of deportation. If so – it is likely the nine-time champion will not return to Melbourne for the rest of his career.

Not surprisingly the outright markets have almost all been suspended for the time being as the continuing confusion reigns. But come Monday – expect to see the main favourites Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev let their tennis do the talking.