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Timeline: How Novak Djokovic went from Australian Open ‘exemption’ to ‘deportation’ and what happens next

The men’s Tennis world number one was due to play in the major championship but has been refused entry to the country.

<p>Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during the Davis Cup semi final against Marin Cilic of Croatia at Madrid Arena on December 03, 2021 in Madrid, Spain.</p>

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during the Davis Cup semi final against Marin Cilic of Croatia at Madrid Arena on December 03, 2021 in Madrid, Spain.

Novak Djokovic is set to be deported from Australia despite initially being granted a “medical exemption” which would have allowed the Serbian tennis ace to compete in the upcoming Australian Open.

Rules for the tournament initially stated that players must be double-vaccinated against Covid-19 to participate in the tournament - which Djokovic is not.

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The tournament organiser confirmed that the Serb had been given a medical exemption to take part but that will now not be happening with he 34-year old now being deported from Australia after officials cancelled his visa.

Here is a timeline of everything that we know has happened from Djokovic being granted exemption through to his deportation:

Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a forehand to Marin Cilic of Croatia during the Davis Cup semi final between Serbia and Croatia at Madrid Arena on December 03, 2021 in Madrid, Spain.

Rules for the Australian Open initially stated that players must be double-vaccinated against Covid-19 to participate in the tournament.

Djokovic had previously criticised the rules and, after a U-Turn by the organisers, it was confirmed that he was granted an exemption to play in Victoria without being double jabbed.

A statement said: “Djokovic applied for a medical exemption which was granted following a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts.”

Novak Djokovic is now set to be deported from Australia after officials cancelled his visa.

The world number one was due to defend his title at the Australian Open before getting news that he would no longer be permitted into the country due to a mistake with his visa application.

After arriving in Melbourne on January 5, Australian officials held the world number one at the airport before taking the decision to overturn his visa.

Currently, unvaccinated travellers are unable to enter Australia.

Acting sports minister Jaala Pulford tweeted: “We will not be providing Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam.

“We’ve always been clear on two points: visa approvals are a matter for the Federal Government, and medical exemptions are a matter for doctors.”

Djokovic’s lawyers are said to be appealing the decision to kick the star out of the country.

It is not known why the 20 time Grand Slam winner has not been vaccinated but there has long been speculation of him being simply against the vaccine rather than their being a specific medical exemption.

The 34-year-old has also opted for alternative medical treatments in the past and admitted that he cried for three days with guilt after he had to choose conventional elbow surgery in 2018.

Fellow tennis star Rafael Nadal claimed that Djokovic could have competed at the Australian Open “without a problem” if he truly wanted to.

When asked about Djokovic’s situation, Nadal - as quoted by journalist Ben Rothenberg on Twitter - said: “From my point of view, that’s the only thing that I can say. I believe in what the people who know about medicine say, and if the people say that we need to get vaccinated, we need to get the vaccine. That’s my point of view.

“I went through Covid. I have been vaccinated twice. If you do this, you don’t have any problem to play here. That’s the only clear thing.”

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