Novak Djokovic was seemingly cleared to compete in the Australian Open this morning when a judge ordered for his immediate release from detention.
The Serbian flew to Melbourne last week hoping to defend his title in Australia but he was detained by border forces, who revoked his visa as he was unvaccinated against Covid-19.
Djokovic had been given a ‘medical exemption’ from Tennis Australia on account of testing positive for Covid-19 less than a month ago but their policy clashed with that of the Australia government, who have implemented some of the toughest border controls in the world since the pandemic hit.
Supporters of the Serbian celebrated wildly in the streets of Melbourne this morning following his release from detention, with the matter appearing to come to an end.
But, in the latest twist to the saga, Djokovic was warned during the ruling that immigration minister Alex Hawke still has the power to revoke his visa.
This led to speculation immediately after Djokovic’s successful appeal that the 34-year-old had been re-arrested by Australian authorities, as a heavy police presence had appeared at the offices of the his lawyers in Melbourne.
Djokovic’s father, Srdan, has allegedly told reporters that his son had been arrested after the ruling and that border forces still intend to deport him.
But Djokovic’s brother appeared to reject those claims by saying the 20-time Grand Slam winner was still with his lawyers following the court’s decision.
‘Novak is now with his lawyers in the premises where they were during the trial, thinking about his options,’ Djordje Djokovic told TV Prva.
‘I think this was a big defeat for the authorities, they lost, and they thought they could win the whole system and Novak.’
At this moment in time, Djokovic has not been re-arrested and he has been cleared to remain in the state of Victoria, according to Melbourne newspaper The Age.
It remains to be seen whether Hawke will use his powers to reissue the decision to revoke Djokovic’s visa but the minister would have to provide ‘new grounds’ for which to do this.
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