Novak Djokovic’s Presence at Australian Open 2022 Will Lead To ‘Increase in Civil Unrest’, Says Immigration Minister Alex Hawke

Published 01/14/2022, 10:22 PM EST
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev | Credits: Reuters


Ever since Novak Djokovic has set foot in Australia, he has been the centre of attraction across the tennis fraternity. A visa controversy has marred the Serbian star’s start to the new season. Further, in a sensational turn of events yesterday, Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke exercised his powers and canceled World Number 1’s visa.

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Why did Alex Hawke cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa? 

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After the Serbian’s victory in the Australian Federal Court, the final decision on his visa rested in the hands of Alex Hawke. The Immigration minister decided to cancel Djokovic’s visa under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act. Hawke cited this decision was based on health grounds and was in the public interest. Further, he said, “this decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Paris Masters – Accor Arena, Paris, France – November 7, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Subsequently, the minister cited that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Morrison government is committed to protecting Australias borders. Moreover, the government has enforced strict Covid-19 related restrictions in Australia. Hawke believes allowing a high-profile unvaccinated individual into Australia could increase civil unrest.

WATCH THIS STORY: Tennis Stars React to Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open Controversy

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Earlier, Djokovic had announced that he was heading Down Under on an exemption. The reason for exemption was the fact that he had contracted Covid-19 for the second time in December last year. Following his positive result on December 16, 2021, Djokovic was photographed with kids while wearing no mask. He also attended an interview after testing positive. These events lead to a massive outcry in Australia.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Paris Masters – Accor Arena, Paris, France – November 7, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

The path ahead for Novak Djokovic

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After yesterday’s decision, the 20-time Grand Slam champion will now have to file an injunction to prevent his deportation. This remains the only way for the Serb to have a shot at defending his Australian Open title. However, he can accept the decision against him and return to his hometown without appealing. While we still await the final status regarding his participation in the Australian Open 2022 starting next week, we hope that the action shifts back to the tennis courts soon.

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Vatsal Shah

61 articles

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.

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