06/01/2022 13:07:00 PM Rajan Kumar Singh 180
Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic fought against deportation from Australia on Thursday after the government revoked his visa for failing to meet Covid vaccine-entry requirements. The vaccine-sceptic Serb was stopped by border officials on arrival to Australia late on Wednesday and denied entry into the country. He is currently being held at an immigration detention facility in Melbourne and faces deportation.
Djokovic had flown into the city's Tullamarine Airport expecting to defend his Australian Open crown, and to bid for an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam title.
He had claimed on Instagram that he had obtained an exemption to play in the tournament, which begins on January 17, without being vaccinated.
The 34-year-old has refused to reveal his vaccine status publicly, but has previously voiced opposition to being jabbed. He contracted Covid at least once.
But instead of a conquering champion's return, Djokovic never made it past border control.
Conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Djokovic had failed to provide officials with evidence of double vaccination or an adequate medical exemption.
"Rules are rules and there are no special cases," Morrison said.
Australian border officials questioned the sports star overnight and revoked his visa citing a failure to "provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements".
Djokovic's lawyers are now arguing against that decision in court, hoping to prevent the star's deportation.