The fate of Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open title defense will be decided today in Federal Court.
Appeal against Novak Djokovic’s canceled visa will be heard at 9:30 a.m.
The Serbian tennis star had his visa revoked on Friday by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke
Djokovic is in Melbourne for the Australian Open which starts on Monday
The Serbian world number one men’s tennis player will make his last attempt to contest the first Grand Slam of the year after his visa was revoked by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.
His appeal will be heard in Federal Court by three justices, Chief Justice James Allsop, Justice Anthony Besanko and Justice David O’Callaghan.
20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic had his visa withdrawn on Friday by Mr Hawke who said it was “in the public interest to do so”.
The 34-year-old is not vaccinated against COVID-19, with suggestions he filled out his declaration form incorrectly before arriving in the country.
If the Federal Court upholds the appeal, it will allow Djokovic to try to win his 10th Australian Open and become the men’s all-time leader with 21 Grand Slam crowns, overtaking Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
However, if his appeal is rejected, he risks not being allowed to enter Australia for three years.
Djokovic spent last night in detention at the Park Hotel in Melbourne, awaiting the hearing.
He was granted an exemption to enter Australia by two different independent health panels – one hired by Tennis Australia, the other by the Victorian government.
However, he was detained by the Australian Border Force upon his arrival on January 5 because he failed to meet the federal government’s requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Although a federal judge overturned his detention on the grounds that he had been treated unfairly by ABF agents, Mr Hawke used his authority as immigration minister to deny Djokovic a second visa. time.
In a court submission on Friday, Djokovic’s lawyers argued that the reasons for canceling their client’s visa were not valid.
They said Mr Hawke had mistakenly canceled his visa on the grounds that Djokovic was seen as a “talisman of a community of anti-vaccine sentiment”.
They also argued that the federal government had provided no evidence that Djokovic could “foster anti-vaccination sentiment” and that the minister was not the one who made that decision.
Federal government lawyers had until 10 p.m. AEDT on Saturday to file a summary of their case in court.
This has not yet been published on the Federal Court’s website.
Djokovic is set to face fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round of the tournament on Monday.