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Visa cancelled Australian PM welcomes decision to dismiss Djokovic visa as star 'extremely disappointed'

'I welcome the decision to keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe'

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Novak Djokovic. Picture by Getty

Novak Djokovic. Picture by Getty

Novak Djokovic. Picture by Getty

Novak Djokovic has reacted with “extreme disappointment” to the news that he will not be permitted to remain in Australia and contest the Australian Open while Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the court ruling.

A court decision to uphold the cancellation of Novak Djokovic's visa on Sunday has shaken up the Australian Open draw on the eve of the tournament.

"I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister's decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open.

"I will now be taking some time to rest and to recuperate, before making any further comments beyond this,” Novak said.

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Novak Djokovic will have to leave Australia and may not be permitted entry for three years. Photo: REUTERS/Loren Elliott.

Novak Djokovic will have to leave Australia and may not be permitted entry for three years. Photo: REUTERS/Loren Elliott.

Novak Djokovic will have to leave Australia and may not be permitted entry for three years. Photo: REUTERS/Loren Elliott.

 

Australian leader Morrison said the visa cancellation decision was made on “health, safety and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.

"I welcome the decision to keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe”.

"I thank the Court for their prompt attention to these issues and the patience of all involved as we have worked to resolve this issue. It's now time to get on with the Australian Open and get back to enjoying tennis over the summer."

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd criticised the “political circus” which was “all avoidable”

"The end of a week-long, political circus - all avoidable had Morrison not issued Djokovic a visa in the first place.

"He then tries to look like a hairy chested Howard: 'we decide who comes here, nobody else'. Meanwhile hospital crisis off the front page."

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Canadian player Vasek Pospisil said the decision was politically motivated “with the elections coming up".

"Novak would never have gone to Australia if he had not been given an exemption to enter the country by the government (which he did receive; hence Judge Kelly's initial ruling).

"He would have skipped the Australian Open and been home with his family and no one would be talking about this mess.

"There was a political agenda at play here with the elections coming up which couldn't be more obvious. This is not his fault. He did not force his way into the country and did not "make his own rules"; he was ready to stay home."

Rubbing salt into the wound, Djokovic's withdrawal could also mean losing his world number one ranking if Medvedev or Zverev claim his title at Melbourne Park.

Longer term, Djokovic's visa cancellation could further harm his chances of adding to his Grand Slam silverware, with the Australian government capable of imposing a three-year entry ban on the Serb.

His travel to other countries could also be affected, with most requiring visa applicants to disclose if they have ever been deported or had a visa rejected or cancelled.

Should Djokovic choose to remain unvaccinated for Covid-19, his entry into other Grand Slams may also be affected as authorities tighten travel and border restrictions in the third year of a pandemic that has killed more than 5 million people.

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