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What: The draw for the Australian Open takes place today, but all eyes are on the country’s immigration minister Alex Hawke, who in the coming hours can decide whether tennis superstar Novak Djokovic’s reinstated visa should be revoked or not and expel him – which could trigger another legal standoff. .
Djokovic arrived in Australia last week, only to have his visa canceled and face temporary detention because he did not have a valid medical exemption from the Covid-19 vaccination requirement for all arrivals. A judge ruled Monday that he should be allowed to stay, and he was released from prison.
Where: The tournament takes place in Melbourne, where Djokovic arrived last week and has been training since his release on Monday.
Why Djokovic was detained: All international arrivals to Australia must be vaccinated – which Djokovic is not – unless they have a medical exemption. The government argued that he did not have a valid exemption from the requirement.
Djokovic said he was under the impression that he could participate because the tournament organizers had given him a medical exemption on the grounds that he had been infected with Covid-19 in December, his visa had been approved before arrival, and he had been approved for quarantine-free travel.
Why the judge ruled in his favor: The government had not given Djokovic enough advance notice of the cancellation of his visa or time to prepare materials for his defense, the judge said. Upon his arrival, Djokovic was told he would have a few hours to prepare – but the government decided to cancel his visa before the deadline they had given.
When: Djokovic tested positive in mid-December and recovered enough to receive a medical exemption from Tennis Australia on December 30, according to court documents. He arrived in Australia on January 5 and was immediately placed in detention. He was released on Monday, January 10th. The tournament runs from the 17th-30th. January.