Novak Djokovic back in custody as Nadal says ‘no player in history’ is greater than a Grand Slam |  world news

Novak Djokovic back in custody as Nadal says ‘no player in history’ is greater than a Grand Slam | world news

Novak Djokovic is back in custody at the Park Hotel ahead of his appeal against the re-cancellation of his visa Sunday morning in the Federal Court of Australia.

After meeting with his lawyers for several hours, Djokovic was driven to the same immigration hotel where he spent four nights last week for what he hopes will be his last night.

Scheduled appeal hearing time

The visa hearing has been set for 9.30am Sunday (10.30pm Saturday UK time) at the Federal Court of Australia.

Novak Djokovic.  File photo by Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports
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The tennis star first had his visa revoked when he arrived in Melbourne last week

Djokovic’s lawyers say his visa was not canceled because of the public health risk posed by the unvaccinated Serbian player, but because of how he may be perceived by anti-vaxxers in the country.

“Australians have made a lot of sacrifices”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison himself welcomed the prospect of Djokovic being deported from Australia and said: “Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect this. may the result of these sacrifices be protected.”

But Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has denounced the Australian government, accusing it of “harassing” and “abusing” Djokovic, and asking if he was trying to score political points ahead of the next election.

The tennis star his visa was first revoked upon his arrival in Melbourne last week when his covid the vaccination exemption was questioned.

But he won a legal challenge against the cancellation which allowed him to stay in the country.

At the time, the Australian government said it would continue to consider whether he could stay, a decision left to the discretion of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.

Serbia's defending men's champion Novak Djokovic trains at Margaret Court Arena ahead of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. AP Photo/Mark Baker)
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Djokovic’s camp hoping for a decision before the start of the tournament

Visa withdrawn for public health reasons

Mr Hawke announced on Friday that the Serb’s visa had again been cancelled, this time for public health reasons.

Djokovic’s release on Monday led police to spray his supporters with pepper spray and Mr Hawke raised the possibility of civil unrest, although his lawyers will argue on Sunday that the same could result from his deportation.

There have been criticisms of how the Australian government has handled the situation, but public opinion is firmly in favor of sending Djokovic home.

“I consider that the continued presence of Mr Djokovic in Australia may lead to an increase in anti-vaccination sentiment generated in the Australian community, potentially leading to an increase in civil unrest of the type that has been experienced previously in Australia. with gatherings and demonstrations which may themselves be a source of community transmission,” Hawke said in a letter that was part of court filings.

Novak Djokovic tries to explain ‘error’ on Australian entry visa form

At a court hearing, Djokovic’s lawyers sought an injunction to block his deportation from the country, saying the reasons for Mr Hawke’s decision were “grossly irrational”.

Djokovic is due to play the first round match on Monday

Djokovic’s lawyers had been pushing for a hearing on Sunday, hoping a decision would be made before the start of the Australian Open.

Djokovic is due to play his first-round match against fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic on Monday.

Nadal “tired” of the situation

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“The Australian Open more important than any player”

Meanwhile, there has been growing frustration among other players in the Djokovic saga overshadowing the Australian Open.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the tournament, his longtime rival Rafa Nadal said: “Honestly, I’m a bit tired of the situation because I just believe it’s important to talk about our sport. , tennis.

“It is very clear that Novak Djokovic is one of the best players in history, without a doubt. But there is not a single player in history who is more important than an event.

“The Australian Open is much more important than any player. If he finally plays, OK. If he doesn’t play, the Australian Open will be a great Australian Open with or without him .”

Nadal added: “Everyone chooses their path. I wish him the best. I really respect him, even if I don’t agree with a lot of things he has done in the last few weeks.”

Djokovic vs Australia: What both teams have said so far

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Raducanu: Situation removing tennis

British tennis star Emma Raducanu said: “I feel like the situation, I feel like it’s taken away a bit of the great tennis that’s been happening this summer in Australia.”

The US Open winner pointed out that Andy Murray reached the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic, which she called “pretty incredible”.