‘Keep Our Borders Strong, Keep Australia Safe’| Novak Djokovic Vaccination Status Denies Chance To Defend Aussie Open Title

Serbia's Novak Djokovic disembarks from his plane at the airport in Dubai on January 17, 2022, after losing a legal battle to stay and play in the Australian Open tennis tournament over his coronavirus vaccination status. (Photo by AFPTV/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic is the No. 1-ranked men’s tennis player in the world. A winner of 20 Grand Slams, which has him in a tie alongside rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. “The Djoker” won’t have the opportunity to defend his Australian Open crown.

Nor will he have the opportunity to break that tie with those two aforementioned star players for most Grand Slams ever by a male player after being deported from Australia due to his unvaccinated status.

Djokovic arrived in Australia believing he’d have the opportunity to play and defend his title in a tournament he’s won nine times.

But that wasn’t to be as the Federal Court of Australia sent down a final ruling late Saturday night disqualifying the Serbian tennis star for misleading the country about his vaccination status and questionable exemption paperwork.

The ruling came following Djokovic’s appeal of Australia’s immigration minister’s decision to cancel his visa on the basis of public interest.

Australia first ruled Djokovic didn’t have a valid COVID-19 exemption to be in the country.

But he won his appeal in circuit court, only to see it overturned in federal court. The claim was he originally lied on his documents to enter the country.

The final reasoning given for his deportation was that they feared he could incite “discord” in the country.

Novak Djokovic Has Been Banned For Three Years In Australia: No Australian Open For The Djoker

Djokovic wasn’t just deported for his infractions concerning the country’s health policies. He won’t be permitted in the land down under for three years. No matter what the ruling was, it all boiled down to Novak’s unvaccinated status. If the tennis star had been vaccinated he wouldn’t be sitting home right now.

Australian PM Scott Morrison said this in an interview with Reuters about his country’s decision:

“This cancellation decision was made on health, safety, and good order grounds, on the basis of that it was public interest to do so. I welcome the decision to keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe.”

Of his 20 career grand slams, Novak has been most successful down under on “Rod Laver” court, where he’s won nine of the last 13 titles.

The French Open Passes Law In Midst Of Djokovic Situation At Aussie Open: No Vaccination, No Roland Garros

Following his visa being canceled and his deportation, Djokovic also received word that he and any other player who isn’t vaccinated won’t be allowed to participate in this year’s French Open.

On Sunday, France’s parliament passed a law stating such.

The country Sports Ministry also said there will be no exemptions accepted. This applies to most public places in France such as stadiums, restaurants, movie theaters, and others.

In an interview the Ministry stated:

“The rule is simple. The vaccine pass will be imposed, as soon as the law is promulgated, in establishments that were already subject to the health pass.”

Winning the French Open isn’t something many players have done since Rafael Nadal arrived on the scene. Nadal has won 13 of his 20 grand slams on the clay courts of Roland-Garros.

So the chances of Djokovic winning there are slim, although he is the defending champion, having knocked off the “King of Clay” in four sets in last year’s semifinals.

Maybe this serves him right, and the fact that his assumed privilege didn’t prevail (although it took a week to make final ruling on what should’ve been a pretty easy decision) might serve as a message that the government is serious in how it deals with people who lie about vaccination status and put others at risk.

We’ve seen superstar athletes in several sports try to get away with using fake vax cards and mislead people about their vaccination status. Tennis is just the latest sport to grab the spotlight.


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