Novak Djokovic Detained by Australian Border Authorities After Visa Ruling

Adam WellsJanuary 14, 2022

Novak Djokovic of Serbia attends a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 14, 2022. - --IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO COMMERCIAL USE-- (Photo by MARTIN KEEP / AFP) / --IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO COMMERCIAL USE-- (Photo by MARTIN KEEP/AFP via Getty Images)
MARTIN KEEP/AFP via Getty Images

Novak Djokovic has been detained by Australian border authorities for the second time since he arrived in Melbourne last week for the Australian Open. 

Per CNN's Hannah Ritchie, Helen Regan and Joshua Berlinger, Djokovic was detained per a court-ordered arrangement. 

The move came after Australia Immigration Minister Alex Hawke announced on Friday he was using his ministerial discretion to revoke Djokovic's visa on public-interest grounds because the tennis superstar is unvaccinated against COVID-19. 

Djokovic was being held in immigration detention while awaiting a hearing over the status of his visa. 

Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly ruled Monday to reinstate Djokovic's visa, making him eligible to stay in the country and play in the year's first Grand Slam. 

Australian officials originally canceled Djokovic's visa when he arrived in the country after it was determined he didn't meet the necessary requirement to receive an exemption. 

In court documents viewed by Ritchie on Jan. 9, Djokovic received a medical exemption because he recently recovered from COVID-19 after testing positive on Dec. 16. 

Ritchie noted a Dec. 7 letter that was leaked to journalists said that "tournament organizers wrongly informed unvaccinated players they could enter Australia to take part in the grand slam."

Australia requires all travelers entering the country to prove their vaccination status and provide evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of a flight unless the person has a medical exemption. 

Djokovic's legal team is currently planning to appeal Hawke's decision. 

The Serbian star is the No. 1 seed on the men's bracket at the Australian Open. If his appeal is successful and he's allowed to play, Djokovic will take on Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round Sunday.