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World No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic lost his bid to restore his Australian visa on Sunday, a day before the start of the Australian Open. With the full federal court rejecting his offer, he will be deported from Australia.

This ends the unvaccinated tennis superstar’s hopes of winning the Australian Open and amassing a record 21 men’s Grand Slam titles.

In a ruling that shocked the nation and tennis fans around the world, the Serb’s challenge to Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision was rejected by a three-judge Federal Court. Hawke canceled the tennis star’s visa on the basis that his presence in Australia could create a risk of “civil unrest” as it is a “talisman of anti-vaccination sentiment”.

A deportation order usually also includes a three-year ban on returning to Australia.

Djokovic’s visa was initially canceled on January 6 at Melbourne airport hours after he arrived to compete in the first Grand Slam of 2022. A border official canceled his visa after deciding Djokovic did not qualify for a medical waiver from the Australia’s rules for unvaccinated visitors.

The medical exemption allowing Djokovic to enter the country without being vaccinated had sparked a furore in Australia and become a political issue for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is due to call a federal election before May.


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