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What: The draw for the Australian Open takes place today, but all eyes are on the country’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, who may decide in the coming hours whether or not to revoke tennis superstar Novak Djokovic’s reinstated visa and deport him — which could spark another legal standoff.
Djokovic arrived in Australia last week, only to have his visa canceled and face temporary detention because he did not have a valid medical exemption for the Covid-19 vaccination requirement for all arrivals. A judge on Monday ruled he should be allowed to stay and he was released from detention.
Where: The tournament takes place in Melbourne, where Djokovic arrived last week and has been training after his release on Monday.
Why Djokovic was detained: All international arrivals to Australia are required to be vaccinated — which Djokovic is not — unless they have a medical exemption. The government argued he didn’t have a valid exemption to the requirement.
Djokovic said he was under the impression he could enter because tournament organizers had granted him a medical exemption on the grounds he had been infected with Covid-19 in December, his visa had been approved ahead of arrival, and he had been cleared for quarantine-free travel.
Why the judge ruled in his favor: The government hadn’t given Djokovic enough advance notice about the cancellation of his visa or time to prepare materials in his defense, the judge said. After his arrival, Djokovic was told he would have a few hours to prepare — but the government decided to cancel his visa before the deadline they had given.
When: Djokovic tested positive in mid-December, and recovered enough to receive a medical exemption from Tennis Australia on December 30, according to court documents. He arrived in Australia on January 5, and was promptly placed in detention. He was released on Monday, January 10. The tournament runs from January 17-30.