Will he keep or will he go? Djokovic’s listening to looms giant

After 4 nights in an Australian immigration detention lodge, Novak Djokovic will get his day in court docket Monday in a deportation case that has polarized opinions and elicited heartfelt help for the top-ranked tennis star in his native Serbia.

Djokovic had his visa canceled after arriving at Melbourne airport final week when Australian border officers dominated that he didn’t meet the factors for an exemption to an entry requirement that every one non-citizens be absolutely vaccinated for COVID-19.

His legal professionals have since filed court docket papers in his problem in opposition to deportation from Australia that present Djokovic examined constructive for COVID-19 final month and recovered. He used that as grounds in making use of for a medical exemption to Australia’s strict vaccination guidelines.

The case is scheduled for a digital listening to to enchantment the visa cancellation. It should happen at 10 a.m. native time in Melbourne (2300 GMT Sunday) within the Federal Circuit and Household Court docket of Australia.

On Sunday, Australian media reported {that a} federal authorities bid for additional time to arrange its case in opposition to Djokovic was denied. The applying, made on behalf of House Affairs Minister Karen Andrews in the course of the weekend, sought to adjourn the ultimate listening to by two days — simply 5 days from the beginning of the Australian Open.

Federal Circuit Court docket Decide Anthony Kelly refused the appliance and the case will resume on Monday as deliberate.

In Serbia on Saturday, Djokovic’s household held a rally in help of him in Belgrade for the third successive day, and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic assured him of her authorities’s help over his visa battle to make sure he can enter Australia and defend his Australian Open title. The match begins Jan. 17 — only a week from his court docket date.

“We’ve managed to ensure gluten-free meals is delivered to him, in addition to exercising instruments, a laptop computer and a SIM card so that he’s in a position to keep up a correspondence along with his household,” Brnabic stated. It comes as Australian media reported that immigration officers denied a request to have Djokovic’s private chef cook dinner meals for him within the immigration lodge.

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Djokovic is nine-time Australian Open champion. He has 20 Grand Slam singles title, a males’s report he shares with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, left, stands with Australian Open match director Craig Tiley in the course of the trophy presentation on the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb 21, 2021. (AP)

In Djokovic’s good world, he would have been consuming meals cooked by that non-public chef, labored out at a gymnasium and skilled on daily basis on-court since his arrival, mingling along with his help group and mates alongside the best way.

As an alternative, he’s been confined to his room in a modest immigration lodge in downtown Melbourne, with guards within the hall.

The case has turn out to be a posh one.

Djokovic was given a medical exemption backed by the Victoria state authorities and Australian Open organizers on Jan. 1, primarily based on info he equipped to 2 unbiased medical panels. He was accepted for a visa electronically.

Nevertheless it has since emerged that the Victoria state medical exemption, allowed for individuals who examined constructive for the coronavirus throughout the final six months, was deemed invalid by the federal border authorities.

It will have been legitimate to enter the match, nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient to fulfill the Australian Border Drive.

Australian media have reported particulars of the court docket paperwork anticipated to entered into testimony on Monday. It confirmed Djokovic acquired a letter from Tennis Australia’s chief medical officer on Dec. 30 “recording that he had been supplied with a ‘medical exemption from COVID vaccination’ on the grounds that he had just lately recovered from COVID.”

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It stated Djokovic’s first constructive take a look at was Dec. 16 and, on the date of challenge, the exemption stated the 34-year-old participant “had not had a fever or respiratory signs prior to now 72 hours.”

Djokovic attended a Dec. 17 occasion in Belgrade honoring younger tennis gamers. The occasion was coated by native media, and fogeys posted photographs on social media displaying Djokovic and the kids not sporting masks. It’s not clear if Djokovic knew the outcomes of his take a look at on the time.

On Dec. 14, Djokovic had attended a Euroleague basketball recreation between Pink Star and Barcelona in a packed sports activities corridor in Belgrade. He was photographed hugging a number of gamers of each groups, together with some who quickly later examined constructive.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who stated “guidelines are guidelines” and that incoming passengers had been chargeable for assembly border rules, has been accused of profiting from Djokovic’s case to enhance his battered standings in recognition polls forward of a looming election.

Supporters of Serbia’s Novak Djokovic wave a Russian, proper, and Serbian flags throughout a protest in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.

Djokovic’s plight has prompted claims from Serbia that Djokovic is being handled like a prisoner. The participant himself seems to have turn out to be a standard-bearer for anti-vaccine teams, together with some individuals who’ve gathered exterior for help exterior his immigration lodge.

Australian Open organizers have been been taking some warmth over the Djokovic state of affairs, and with obvious good cause.

Tennis Australia, which runs the match and organizes the logistics for greater than 2,000 incoming gamers, employees and officers, reportedly gave incorrect interpretations to gamers in regards to the acceptable grounds for an exemption. That included the interpretation that having had a coronavirus an infection throughout the earlier six months would qualify. Organizers have blamed the federal authorities for its blended messages on the coverage.

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Event director Craig Tiley has continued working within the background with Djokovic, or so it appears.

Tiley’s video message to Australian Open employees in regards to the match’s “tough time within the public area” was printed in Information Corp. newspapers Saturday.

“There’s been a circumstance that pertains to a few gamers, Novak notably . . . in a state of affairs that may be very tough,” Tiley stated within the video. “We’re a player-first occasion. We’re working intently with Novak and his group, and others and their group, which might be on this state of affairs.”

Djokovic was certainly one of two gamers put into detention within the lodge that additionally homes refugees and asylum seekers. A 3rd particular person, reported to be an official, left the nation voluntarily after border power investigations.

The opposite participant was 38-year-old doubles specialist Renata Voráčová, who had already been in Australia for per week earlier than an investigation by the border officers. The Czech international ministry stated Voráčová voluntarily left Australia after deciding to not enchantment the choice.

The court docket listening to on Monday will decide whether or not Djokovic just isn’t far behind her.

Novak Djokovic supporters on Sunday demonstrated exterior Melbourne’s Park Resort because the tennis celebrity spent a fourth day among the many lodge’s unwilling occupants.

A number of the followers wore Serbian flags as capes and danced to music exterior the lodge.

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