Djokovic is allowed to stay in Australia, but the saga is not over, says an Australian judge

MELBOURNE (AP) -- Novak Djokovic returned Monday to the tennis court to train after winning a legal battle to stay and play in the Australian Open. His exemption from strict coronavirus rules had been questioned. However, the government continues to threaten to cancel his visa as well as deport him.

Djokovic is allowed to stay in Australia, but the saga is not over, says an Australian judge

Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly restored the Djokovic visa. It was pulled last week after he arrived. Officials said that he did not qualify for an exemption from a rule that requires all non-citizens to be fully vaccinated. Djokovic's lawyers claim that he was not required to be inoculated because he has recently recovered from COVID-19.

The judge ruled that the No. The judge ruled that the No. 1 player was not allowed enough time to talk to his lawyers before he made the decision and ordered the government's release from the Melbourne quarantine hospital where he had spent the past four nights.

Christopher Tran, a government lawyer, told the judge that Christopher Tran, the immigration minister, "will examine whether to exercise a power of cancellation personal."

The nine-time Australian Open champion and defending champion could be deported again and may miss the tournament which begins on January 17. He could be banned from the country for up to three years.

Djokovic posted a picture on Twitter late Monday night that showed him with his team standing on one the main show courts for the tournament. His brother in Serbia told reporters that he was already back at training.

"I am happy and grateful that Judge overturned my Visa cancellation. Djokovic stated in the post that despite all of this, he wanted to remain and compete @AustralianOpen.

The controversy has gripped the globe and caused furore in Australia. Many initially decried the announcement that Djokovic, a vocal skeptic about vaccines, was granted an exemption from strict rules for Melbourne competitions. Many felt that the star, who court records state is not inoculated against COVID-19 was being given special treatment because Australians who haven't been vaccinated are subject to strict travel restrictions and quarantine restrictions. Melbourne is among the most restricted cities in the world, and has been subject to severe restrictions.

Others protested that the 34-year old was blocked by border police upon his arrival. They claimed he was being made a scapegoat by the Australian government, which is under fire for its handling of the pandemic.

Djordje Djokovic was the brother of tennis star. He stated to television station Prva in Belgrade (Serbia): "This is absolutely politics. All this was politics."

Rafael Nadal, a Spanish tennis player, called the controversy "a circus", and stated that he supports the decision to allow his rival to play at Melbourne.

"It doesn't matter if I agree or disagree with Djokovic on some things, there's no doubt that justice has spoken" Nadal stated Monday in an interview with Spain’s Onda Cero radio.

The conservative government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison is running for re-election in May's polls.

His government was widely praised because it contained the COVID-19 death rate at the outbreak of the pandemic. However, he recently relaxed some rules as omicrons have been increasing rapidly. For that strategy, as well as the shortage of rapid antigen testing and refusing to make them free to everyone, he has been criticised.

Djokovic's attorneys argued Monday that Djokovic did not require proof of vaccination as he already had evidence that he was infected by the coronavirus.

Australian medical authorities have decided that anyone who has been infected by COVID-19 within the past six months may be granted a temporary exemption from the vaccination rule.

Judge Kelly pointed out that Djokovic had given officials at Melbourne's Airport a medical exemption granted him by Tennis Australia and two other medical panels.

Kelly asked Nick Wood, Djokovic's attorney, "The point that I'm somewhat upset about is what more this man could have done?"

Wood agreed with his client that Djokovic could not have done more. He noted that Djokovic's interview transcripts and his own affidavit showed that he told officers repeatedly that he had done all he believed was necessary.

Djokovic's lawyers called the cancellation "seriously absurd."

However, Andrews' lawyers from Home Affairs Minister stated in their submission that exemptions could not be granted to travelers who have recovered from serious COVID-19.

The written submission stated that there was no evidence that Djokovic had suffered from an "acute major medical condition" in December, when he tested positive.

The government lawyers finally conceded that Djokovic's decision to interview him in the early hours on Thursday and cancel his visa before he could reach Tennis Australia or his lawyers was unreasonable.

Djokovic was informed at 5:20 AM on Thursday that he would have to respond to a notice indicating his intention to cancel his visa. Instead, his comments were sought at 6:14 a.m.

Just over an hour later, he decided to cancel his visa.

Minister Andrews didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. However, an Alex Hawke spokesperson, minister for immigration and citizenship, said that the court had ruled in his favor, but added that the minister still has the right to make the final decision.

The spokesman stated that the minister was currently examining the matter. However, the process is still ongoing.

Djokovic's family still declared victory at a Belgrade news conference, Serbia.

His mother Dijana Djokovic said, "This is his greatest win, greater than all of the Grand Slams he has won."

Due to the overwhelming number of people trying to view the proceedings online, the virtual hearing was repeatedly canceled.

According to The New Daily News, an expired court connection was apparently hacked at one point and broadcast pornography.

Djokovic holds 20 Grand Slam singles titles. This men's record is shared with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Rafael Nadal.

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