MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic left Australia on Sunday night after dropping his remaining bid to keep away from deportation and play within the Australian Open regardless of being unvaccinated for COVID-19. A courtroom earlier unanimously dismissed the No. 1-ranked tennis participant’s problem to cancel his visa.

Djokovic, a 34-year-old from Serbia, mentioned he was “extraordinarily disenchanted” by the ruling however revered it.

A masked Djokovic was photographed in an Melbourne airport lounge with two authorities officers in black uniforms. He left on an Emirates flight to Dubai, the identical United Arab Emirates metropolis he flew to Australia from.

He has received a document 9 Australian Open titles, together with three in a row, however this time received’t even get the prospect to attempt.

“I respect the Courtroom’s ruling and I’ll cooperate with the related authorities in relation to my departure from the nation,” he mentioned in a press release.

Djokovic mentioned he was “uncomfortable” that the main focus had been on him since his visa was first canceled on arrival at Mebourne’s airport on Jan. 6.

“I hope that we are able to all now concentrate on the sport and event I really like,” he mentioned.

The nationwide federation that runs the event, Tennis Australia, mentioned it respects the choice of the Federal Courtroom. “We stay up for a aggressive and thrilling Australian Open 2022 and need all gamers one of the best of luck,” it mentioned in a press release.

A deportation order additionally often features a three-year ban on returning to Australia.

Novak Djokovic practices on Rod Laver Arena ahead of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)
Novak Djokovic practices on Rod Laver Area forward of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 12, 2022. (AP Picture/Mark Baker, File)

In Serbia, President Aleksandar Vucic mentioned the listening to was “a farce with loads of lies.”

“They suppose that they humiliated Djokovic with this 10-day harassment, they usually truly humiliated themselves. Should you mentioned that the one who was not vaccinated has no proper to enter, Novak wouldn’t come or can be vaccinated,” Vucic advised reporters.

He mentioned he advised Djokovic after speaking to him “that we are able to’t wait to see him in Serbia, to return to his nation, to come back the place he’s all the time welcome.”

He didn’t say whether or not Djokovic mentioned he would first go to Serbia after his deportation.

Chief Justice James Allsop mentioned the ruling got here down as to whether the minister’s resolution was “irrational or legally unreasonable.”

Hawke welcomed the choice. His workplace didn’t instantly present element of how or when Djokovic would go away.

“Australia’s robust border safety insurance policies have saved us protected throughout the pandemic, leading to one of many lowest demise charges, strongest financial recoveries, and highest vaccination charges on the earth,” Hawke mentioned.

“Robust border safety insurance policies are additionally elementary to safe-guarding Australia’s social cohesion which continues to strengthen regardless of the pandemic,” he added.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed what he described because the “resolution to maintain our borders robust and preserve Australians protected.”

However opposition spokesperson on the house affairs portfolio, Kristina Keneally, mentioned Djokovic was being deported for what he mentioned and did publicly abroad earlier than the federal government gave him a visa in November.

“This mess isn’t a failure of our legal guidelines. It’s a failure of Morrison’s competence & management,” Keneally tweeted.

The pandemic response has develop into politically charged with Morrison’s conservative coalition searching for a fourth three-year time period at elections due by Could.

An infection charges have soared throughout a lot of Australian since December when Morrison’s authorities relaxed what had been among the democratic world’s hardest restrictions on worldwide journey.

“I’ll now be taking a while to relaxation and to recuperate, earlier than making any additional feedback past this,” he mentioned.

The courtroom course of that Djokovic had hoped would preserve his aspirations alive for a twenty first Grand Slam title was terribly quick by Australian requirements.

Inside three hours of Hawke’s announcement on Friday afternoon that Djokovic’s visa was canceled, his attorneys went earlier than a Federal Circuit and Household Courtroom choose to provoke their problem to the choice. The case was elevated to the Federal Courtroom on Saturday and submissions had been filed by each side that very same day.

The three judges heard the case over 5 hours on Sunday and introduced their verdict two hours later.

There was proof that Djokovic was to be deported based mostly on Hawke’s evaluation that he was thought of a “talisman of a group of anti-vaccination sentiment.”

Hawke’s lawyer Stephen Lloyd took purpose at Djokovic’s anti-vaccination stance and his “historical past of ignoring COVID security measures.”

Lloyd raised the instance of Djokovic giving a French newspaper journalist an interview final month whereas he was contaminated with COVID-19 and taking off his masks throughout a photograph shoot. Djokovic has acknowledged the interview was an error of judgment.

The minister canceled the visa on the grounds that Djokovic’s presence in Australia could also be a danger to the well being and “good order” of the Australian public and “could also be counterproductive to efforts at vaccination by others in Australia.”

Djokovic’s visa was initially canceled on Jan. 6 by a border official who determined he didn’t qualify for a medical exemption from Australia’s guidelines for unvaccinated guests. He was exempted from the event’s vaccine guidelines as a result of he had been contaminated with the virus throughout the earlier six months.

Vasek Pospisil, a Canadian who received the 2014 Wimbledon males’s doubles title and has labored with Djokovic to kind an affiliation to signify gamers, tweeted: “There was a political agenda at play right here with the (Australian) elections developing which couldn’t be extra apparent. This isn’t his fault. He didn’t power his manner into the nation and didn’t ‘make his personal guidelines’; he was prepared to remain house.”

Pospisil wrote that Djokovic wouldn’t have tried to go to Australia in any respect and “been house along with his household” had he not acquired the medical exemption.

Djokovic has received 9 Australian Open titles, together with three in a row, and a complete of 20 Grand Slam singles trophies, tied with rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for essentially the most within the historical past of males’s tennis.

Djokovic’s dominance of late has been notably spectacular, successful 4 of the final seven main tournaments and ending because the runner-up at two others.

The one time he didn’t get at the very least to the ultimate in that span was on the 2020 U.S. Open, the place he was disqualified within the fourth spherical for hitting a ball that inadvertently hit a line choose within the throat after a sport.

As a result of Djokovic has withdrawn from the event after Monday’s schedule was launched, he has been changed within the area by what’s often known as a “fortunate loser” — a participant who loses within the qualifying event however will get into the primary draw due to one other participant’s exit earlier than competitors has began.

That participant is Italian Salvatore Caruso, who’s ranked a hundred and fiftieth on the earth.

Related Press writers John Pye in Melbourne, Australia, Howard Fendrich in Washington D.C., and Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade, Serbia, contributed to this report.


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