Novak Djokovic wins appeal against deportation and will play in Australian Open

Novak Djokovic has learned his fate for the Australian Open after the appeal hearing confirmed he would be allowed to remain in the country.

Judge Anthony Kelly ruled that Djokovic's visa cancellation order is "quashed" immediately.

The government will also pay the tennis star's legal costs.

The Serbian has endured a nightmare time upon his arrival in Australia, after dramatically having his visa rejected by border control at Melbourne Airport despite being granted to play at the first Grand Slam of the Year through a medical exemption.

His medical exemption was met by huge backlash across the tennis community after he refused to share his vaccination status, hinting he hadn't been fully jabbed which was a mandate to compete in Melbourne at the Australian Open.

But as soon as he started to dream of a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title, it soon turned into a horror ordeal for the Serb after he was refused entry into Melbourne after border officials interrogated him for several hours.

He has since been detained in quarantine at the Park Hotel in Melbourne, which has long been known as an immigration hotel with poor conditions.

Djokovic's legal team managed to delay the process of him being deported back to Serbia, with an appeal hearing having been set up in Melbourne for 10am on Monday (11pm tonight UK time).

A bid by the Australian government to have the case delayed to Wednesday was rejected, but a court order by judge Andrew Kelly said the hearing would go ahead as scheduled.

Djokovic had faced a very anxious wait on the outcome of the hearing, but is now expected to begin his preparations.

Despite that government lawyer Chris Tran said Australia's immigration minister may consider cancelling Djokovic's visa again.

Under Australia's immigration law, the minister has exceptional powers and discretion to cancel visas for whatever reason but no grounds under which Djokovic's visa could be cancelled again were detailed.

The visa saga has gripped the sporting world in recent days, with protests taking place outside his quarantine hotel – both in favour and against the world No 1 – while Djokovic's parents and Serbia's foreign ministry also haven't been shy on the matter.

The case centred around whether Australia's government and border control made errors in their handling of Djokovic's visa situation.

The world No 1 and his lawyers argued he met requirements to enter Australia as he had contracted Covid in December – just a couple of weeks before arriving Down Under.

"Mr Djokovic had received, on 30 December 2021, a letter from the Chief Medical Officer of Tennis Australia (‘Exemption Certificate’) recording that he had been provided with a ‘medical exemption from COVID vaccination’ on the ground that he had recently recovered from COVID," a document read.

"The Exemption Certificate also recorded that … the date of the first positive COVID PCR test was recorded on 16 December 2021, it had now been 14 days, and Mr Djokovic had not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 72 hours."

Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley even publicly revealed on Sunday that he had confirmed with the Victorian government that players seeking medical exemptions would be permitted into Australia.

However, the Australian government insisted that rule of allowing people into the country who previously tested positive only applied to Australia citizens re-entering the country, and not visitors.

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