Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open visa saga compared to ‘circus’

Novak Djokovic’s visa debacle at this year’s Australian Open has been compared to a “circus” as the nine-time Down Under champion finds himself in a similar situation once again ahead of the 2023 edition of the tournament. After Djokovic was deported earlier in the year, he was given an automatic ban from returning to the country before 2025 and is now waiting to find out if this can be lifted in time for January’s season-opening Grand Slam.

Djokovic was at the center of a scandal earlier this year when he arrived in Melbourne unvaccinated, with a medical exemption provided by Tennis Australia. His visa was revoked and he was kept in a government detention hotel before successfully appealing.

But his time in Australia did not last long as the then Immigration Minister used his personal powers to cancel the Serb’s visa for a second time, with Djokovic failing his second appeal and being deported on the eve of the Australian Open. As a result, he received an automatic three-year ban from returning to the country and is now waiting for the authorities to lift it so he can compete in January.

As Djokovic waits to learn his fate, fellow pro Christopher Eubanks has likened the 35-year-old’s ordeal to a “circus”, although he believes the nine-time Australian Open champion will be back in action in January. “I hope Novak can play this Australian Open,” the world number 137 told Tennis Channel.

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But the American pro believes the authorities will come to a compromise this time, as he stated that he believed Djokovic would be allowed to return for January’s Australian Open just days after the Serb said he had received some early positive signs. through his legal team, who were in communication with those who made the decisions.

“We know the rule that if you get deported, you can’t get a visa for three years. We understand all that. However, I think Novak will be able to play,” Eubanks said. “I hope he can play. I hope they can come to some kind of compromise that allows him to compete because by his own definition he tried to follow the rules that were put before him and it was a very unfortunate incident how it all happened. ”

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