Tennis Star Novak Djokovic Gets Visa Stripped Right Before Start of Australia Open

Tennis Star Novak Djokovic Gets Visa Stripped Right Before Start of Australia Open

(TargetLiberty.org) – On Monday, January 17, tennis star Novak Djokovic landed in Dubai after being deported from Australia. It was the conclusion of a weeks-long battle pitting the Australian government against the number one men’s tennis player right before a potentially history-making match.

On Sunday, an Australian court ruled to revoke Djokovic’s visa after granting the tennis star relief just days earlier. The saga began on January 6, when the government revoked his visa after determining he didn’t qualify for the country’s medical exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine. The 34-year-old star was unvaccinated, but he was exempt from the Australian Open’s vaccine mandate because he’d had the virus within the last six months, giving him natural antibodies.

Although the champion admitted to putting the wrong information on his visa application, his deportation was ultimately tied to his vaccine decision. The government argued Djokovic risked inciting “anti-vaccine” activists based on his failure to get the jab.

Initially, Djokovic won an appeal to stay in the country for the game, but Immigration Minister Alex Hawke disputed the ruling. Three Federal Court judges eventually ruled against Djokovic and he was deported.

Djokovic could have made history had he been allowed to play in the Australian Open. He was trying to set a record for the number of Majors won by a man.

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