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14 Jan, 2022 09:00

Djokovic avoids immediate re-detention – reports

Novak Djokovic will be asked to present to Australian immigration officials on Saturday morning, according to reports
Djokovic avoids immediate re-detention – reports

World number one Novak Djokovic will not spend Friday night in detention but will need to meet with Australian immigration officers on Saturday morning in Melbourne, reports have stated.

Djokovic had his Australian visa canceled again on Friday after the personal intervention of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.

Hawke said he was taking the step against the unvaccinated tennis star “in the public interest.”

It is the second time Djokovic has had his visa revoked following his arrival into Melbourne last week with a medical exemption to compete at the Australian Open.

The first visa cancelation was overruled by a federal court judge due to the “unreasonable” treatment of Djokovic by border officials.

Djokovic and his legal team will now need to mount another defense – and quickly – to fight Hawke’s decision, which was formally announced on Friday at around 6pm local time.

Attention immediately turned to whether Djokovic would be detained and returned to the notorious Park Hotel immigration facility he was held at for four nights following the initial cancelation of his visa.

But according to reports in Australia and elsewhere, the 34-year-old will not be forced to spend the night in detention, and has instead been asked to present himself for an interview with immigration officials tomorrow.

Beyond that, however, the fate of the nine-time Australian Open champion remains unclear.

His team could seek an immediate injunction against the latest decision, in the hopes of allowing Djokovic to line up at the Australian Open next week while his case is heard again.

Some have pointed to the timing of the announcement by Hawke, which leaves Djokovic’s team facing challenges to pursue the relevant court channels over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has backed the decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa for a second time, claiming it serves to “protect the sacrifices” made by Australians during the pandemic.

It has been noted that Djokovic could technically face an automatic three-year ban from Australia, although that would remain at the discretion of the authorities.