After days of uncertainty and media frenzy Novak Djokovic appears to be edging closer to defending his Australian Open crown when the tournament starts next week. The world no 1 has been embroiled in a row over his Covid-19 vaccination status which has led to him being held in detention until the legal dispute has been resolved. During the pandemic Australia has implemented some of the most stringent Covid restrictions and to gain access into the country individuals must obtain special visas, which include vaccination status.
The Wimbledon Champion has always been reluctant to disclose whether he has received the Covid vaccine and is believed to be unvaccinated. After initially being granted access into the country Djokovic was placed into immigration detention when Australian border force tore up his visa, claiming he had not provided sufficient evidence to warrant a medical exemption. The matter was then placed into the hands of lawyers who aimed to settle the dispute.
On Monday, Judge Anthony Kelly delivered his verdict to reinstate Djokovic’s visa stating border officials had been ‘unreasonable’ in their treatment of the defending champion. It is understood that the Serb ace argued that a positive Covid test he submitted in December qualified him for a medical exemption as has now recovered from the illness.
There may yet be more twist and turns in this extraordinary saga but at this moment Novak Djokovic is free to compete at the first Grand Slam of 2022 where he bids to become the most decorated tennis player of all-time.