Novak Djokovic will play no part in this year’s Australian Open and looks likely to miss out on playing Down Under any time in the near future. The Serbian’s 11-day stay in Australia came to a controversial end on Sunday after losing his court case.
He’s since left the country and touched down in Dubai, where he was greeted by several fans wanting photos.
The headline-grabbing saga on whether Djokovic would play in Australia or not caused a stir all around the world.
After being given a medical exemption to fly out to Australia, the world No 1 was then detained by Border Force officials at the Melbourne airport.
He later won a federal court appeal five days later with Djokovic having his visa reinstated.
That gave Djokovic the ability to train at the Rod Laver Arena and was included in the draw for the Australian Open.
But he was soon back in detention after Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke MP exercised his right to overrule the verdict under Australia’s Migration Act.
The same judge which ruled in Djokovic’s favour a week ago, Anthony Kelly, this time sided with Minister Hawke.
And now Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews has confirmed Djokovic’s deportation comes with an automatic three-year ban on entering the country.
“The visa was cancelled by [Immigration] Minister Hawke,” Ms Andrews said.
“That cancellation was upheld by the Federal Court, so as a result of that, he will be banned from entry for three years into the country.”
Djokovic turns 35 in May and could technically not be allowed into the country until the 2025 Australian Open, at which point he will be 38 years old.
Ms Andrews did offer a glimmer of hope that Djokovic’s ban could be overturned in exceptional circumstances.
“Now there are some compelling reasons that may be looked at, but that’s all hypothetical at this point. Any application will be reviewed on its merits,” Ms Andrews said.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had a softer stance on Djokovic potentially coming back next year.
“I’m not going to precondition any of that or say anything that would not enable the minister to make the various calls he has to make,” said the PM.
“It does go over a three-year period, but there is the opportunity for [a person] to return in the right circumstances, and that will be considered at the time.”
Speaking on Good Morning Britain today, Richard Madeley questioned tennis star Greg Rudsedski: “His career could be semi-over!”