Novak Djokovic to be sent back to detention following delayed deportation

File photo dated 12-07-2019 of Novak Djokovic. Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has cancelled Novak Djokovics visa on health and good order grounds. Issue date: Friday January 14, 2022.
File photo dated 12-07-2019 of Novak Djokovic. Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has cancelled Novak Djokovics visa on health and good order grounds. Issue date: Friday January 14, 2022.

Judge Anthony Kelly said a new court and new judge would have to hear the challenge to the player's visa being cancelled again

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Novak Djokovic is set to go back into detention for the weekend after his deportation was delayed by the Australian government.

Judge Anthony Kelly said a new court and new judge would have to hear the challenge to the player's visa being cancelled again.

In the meantime, Djokovic will remain in detention from Saturday 8am while he meets with his legal team to prepare a case and then be held overnight, potentially back at the Park Hotel where he spent four nights last week.

The world number one had been waiting since Judge Kelly overturned the original decision on Monday to find out whether Immigration Minister Alex Hawke would use his powers to reimpose the penalty.

And, just before 6pm (7am UK time) on Friday, Hawke released a statement saying he had made the judgement to send Djokovic home “on health and good order grounds”.

But the parties have already been back in court and a resolution to this saga will not come until Sunday at the earliest.

Novak Djokovic has had his visa cancelled for a second time but could still play in the Australian Open.

But the legal process is far from at an end and both parties were back in front of Judge Anthony Kelly, who made Monday’s reversal, on Friday evening.

Djokovic’s legal team confirmed they will seek the same outcome this time at a virtual hearing at the Federal Court of Australia on Sunday, the day before his first-round match against fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

Even if he wins, therefore, there must be major question marks over whether he will be in the right physical and mental state to compete at a grand slam regardless of his famous powers of resilience.

Hawke’s legal representative, meanwhile, said the minister would not seek to deport Djokovic until proceedings were at an end, raising the possibility he could yet be sent home mid-tournament.

In his statement, Hawke said: “Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.

“This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.

“In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.

“The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The decision means Djokovic also faces a three-year ban from the country, which could mean he never plays at the Australian Open again, although that can be waived.

The situation has dominated global news since Djokovic was detained at Melbourne airport last Thursday morning after Border Force officials concluded he did not have the right paperwork to enter the country.

The nine-time Australian Open champion, who is unvaccinated, had received an exemption through Tennis Australia from strict coronavirus vaccination rules for arrivals into the country by virtue of having tested positive last month.