Serbian world No. 1 tennis star Novak Djokovic’s will not participate in the Australian Open after the Australian government cancelled his visa for a second time this month on public health grounds.
A three-judge panel on Sunday cancelled the unvaccinated 34-year-old’s visa, ending his hopes of defending his Australian Open title and winning a record 21st Grand Slam.
Djokovic had been scheduled to play his first match on Monday but is now set to be deported from Australia.
In a statement released after the ruling, the Serb said he was “extremely disappointed” but respected the ruling. He said:
I will co-operate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country.
Djokovic was detained in Australia last week over a visa and a vaccination dispute and has been staying at an immigration detention hotel in Melbourne.
He had been taken to the hotel after his visa was first revoked following his arrival on 6 January.
A judge later overturned that decision, finding that border officials had ignored correct procedure when he arrived.
However, last Friday, the Australian government stepped in to revoke the visa yet again, a decision that Djokovic’s lawyers appealed.
Australia has some of the world’s most COVID-19 rules when it comes to international travellers and the government has repeatedly said that no-one is above rules.