Novak Djokovic broke his silence and expressed his gratitude after winning an appeal against the Australian government over the abolition of his visa.
For now, world number one at the Australian Open is back on track after a federal court hearing that lasted most of Monday ended in Djokovic’s favor.
The Serbian star was dramatically denied entry to Australia, despite being granted a medical exemption to travel without proof of vaccination before the first Grand Slam event this year.
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Djokovic was detained at an immigration detention hotel in Australia, awaiting his hearing on Monday, but after winning his appeal, he headed for his first training session since arriving in Australia directly at Rod Laver Arena, the site of his nine Open titles.
On Tuesday morning in Australian time, he posted a photo on Twitter thanking his supporters and saying that he was now concentrating on defending the title at the Australian Open.
“I am pleased and grateful that the judge revoked my visa waiver. Despite everything that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete on @AustralianOpen,” Djokovic wrote.
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“I’m concentrating on it. I came here to play one of the most important events we have, in front of amazing fans.”
“I can’t say more for now, but THANK you all for standing up with me and encouraging me to stay strong.”
I am pleased and grateful that the judge revoked my visa waiver. Despite everything that happened, I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen
I stay focused on that. I came here to play at one of the most important events we organize, in front of amazing fans. 👇 pic.twitter.com/iJVbMfQ037
– Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 10, 2022
Although Djokovic, despite winning the original appeal, is not completely out.
Following the verdict, government adviser Andrew Tran said the federal government would now consider its options, including that immigration minister Alex Hawke use his personal powers to revoke Djokovic’s visa.
If Djokovic’s minister cancels his visa again, he will not be allowed to enter Australia for three years, which could lead the parties to court again.
It is unclear when the federal government will decide whether to exercise this personal power, although the judge presiding over Djokovic’s appeal on Monday indicated that it would not end the case.
“In terms of stakes, the stakes have increased rather than receded,” Judge Anthony Kelly said.
If Djokovic gets final permission, he will be able to pursue a record 21 grand slam titles, overshadowing both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (20), which would crown him the best player in world tennis.