Novak Djokovic included in delayed Australian Open draw as visa call wait continues


Novak Djokovic has been included in the Australian Open draw as the wait to see if his visa will be cancelled for a second time stretches into another day.

As he looks to compete for a men’s record 21st grand slam title, Djokovic has been drawn to face his compatriot Miomir Kecmanović. However, Alex Hawke, the Australian immigration minister, continues to deliberate over whether to use his personal powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa and deport him from the country. According to the federal government, Djokovic arrived in Melbourne without an acceptable medical exemption.

The Australian Open draw ceremony was attended by embattled Tennis Australia chief executive, Craig Tiley, who refused to take questions from a journalist afterwards. It was also the source of significant speculation as the ceremony, initially scheduled for 3pm in Melbourne, was postponed at the very last moment for over an hour.

The abrupt postponement triggered speculation about Djokovic’s status, particularly as Scott Morrison, the prime minister, was scheduled to give an announcement 45 minutes later. Morrison’s address was rather about Australia’s Covid rules, but during his press conference he reiterated that Hawke has the powers to cancel visas.

Source: The Guardian