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COVID-19: Novak Djokovic wins appeal against visa cancellation

Novak Djokovic

A court in Australia has ordered that Novak Djokovic be released from immigration detention after quashing his visa cancellation by the authorities over his vaccination status.

Monday’s decision opens the door for the tennis star to play in next week’s Australian Open, however the government is wrangling over whether to intervene and reimpose the visa ban.

The 34-year-old Serb — who has confirmed that he is not vaccinated against COVID-19 — has been fighting deportation to defend his title in Melbourne and win a record 21st Grand Slam title.

But while Djokovic’s supporters and the Serbian press have been celebrating, much uncertainty still surrounds the case. The judge’s decision — based on procedural errors — does not yet mean for sure that the world’s top-ranked player will be free to compete.

His fate in the matter has now become caught up in a web of politics and public health policy amid the pandemic, while the world looks on.

In Belgrade, members of Djokovic’s family have welcomed the court decision as “bigger than any of his Grand Slam victories”, as they criticised once more his treatment by the Australian authorities over the past few days.

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