Novak Djokovic hasn’t been deported yet & he’s in the Australian Open draw

The Novak Djokovic saga has not been settled. There were widespread reports in Australia yesterday (the 12th) that Oz’s Immigration Minister had made a decision about whether they would try to cancel Djokovic’s visa once again and begin deportation proceedings. The federal government has been “investigating” the situation since Novak touched down, although they bungled their first attempt to cancel Novak’s visa. After all of that drama though, the Immigration Minister is once again keeping everyone in suspense:

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke will not be making a decision tonight on whether to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa as the saga drags into its seventh day. A federal source confirmed Mr Hawke is still considering the matter and would not be making any decision tonight.

Earlier, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Mr Hawke was still considering whether to cancel the tennis star’s visa.

There was heightened expectation that an announcement would be made on the tennis star’s future in this afternoon press conference on national cabinet. But Mr Morrison said there had been no change from yesterday.

“I will refer to Minister Hawke’s most recent statement in that the position hasn’t changed,” he said. “These are personal ministerial powers able to be exercised by Minister Hawke and I don’t propose to make any further comment at this time.”

So, after another day of waiting, a decision on Novak Djokovic’s visa status is not expected to be made tonight, a federal source confirmed to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

[From The Age]

There was a belief that Aussie authorities would cancel Djokovic’s visa just before the Australian Open draw was made, which is why there seemed to be a staring contest between AO CEO Craig Tiley and the government, with Tiley postponing the draw announcement. I still wonder what’s happening behind the scenes, because it definitely feels like certain wheels are in motion. In any case, Djokovic IS in the AO draw as the #1 seed. His draw is tough too – if he gets through the first week, he would potentially face Matteo Berrettini in the quarters, and either Alexander Zverev or Rafael Nadal in the semifinal. Potential finalists on the other side of the draw: Daniil Medvedev (who beat Novak in the US Open final), Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev or dealer’s choice. Andy Murray, a wild card, is on Medvedev’s side of the draw too.

I said this on Twitter last night and I still have this dark premonition that the Oz government is going to keep kicking the decision down the road for a few more days, and then during Novak’s first-round match on Rod Laver Arena, authorities will walk on court and drag Novak off. I mean, it would be chaotic and legendary, so maybe?

Also: Spain is now investigating whether Novak entered the country illegally (unvaccinated) in December. Serbia is also investigating why Novak broke their Covid isolation rules while he was allegedly Covid-positive. And there’s still the Australian investigation. Novak Djokovic, the #1 player in the world and one of the most prominent anti-vaxxers in the world, is currently facing criminal investigations in three countries.

PS… The AO women’s draw is f–king bonkers too.

— Michal Samulski (@MichalSamulski) January 13, 2022

— Michal Samulski (@MichalSamulski) January 13, 2022

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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