Serbian Tennis star Novak Djokovic has failed in his attempts to secure a pass to play in this year’s Australian Open after a Federal Court in Australia ruled against his appeal.
The World No.1 who isn’t vaccinated against Covid-19 had appealed to the authorities to secure a permission to compete in the Australian Open after his vaccine exemption Visa was declined on his entry into the country last week.
In a virtual hearing earlier on Sunday, three Federally Court judges unanimously dismissed Djokovic’s application to overturn the immigration minister’s decision to cancel his visa.
Djokovic has now been confirmed to have left Australia back to Dubai on an Emirates flight on Sunday.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion expressed his dissapointment at passing a chance to clinch Grand Slam No.21 but also thanked the tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans through his statement.
“I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love.”
“I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament.”Novak Djokovic
However, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison backed the decision of the judiciary saying the decision was made on “health and safety grounds” in a message to the media.
“This cancellation decision was made on health, safety and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so. I welcome the decision to keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe,” he said.
“I thank the Court for their prompt attention to these issues and the patience of all involved as we have worked to resolve this issue. It’s now time to get on with the Australian Open and get back to enjoying tennis over the summer.” PM Morrison added.
Djokovic has now missed out on a chance to set a new record of 21 Grand Slam titles had it been he was allowed to compete and go on to win.