AFP
Wire Service
2 minute read
10 Jan 2022
4:46 pm

Novak Djokovic wants to stay and play in Australian Open

AFP

The 34-year-old Serbian was released after being held for several nights in an immigration detention facility in Melbourne.

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic remains eager to compete in the Australian Open which starts next week. Picture: Getty Images

Novak Djokovic on Monday said he hoped to still compete in the Australian Open while his mother said the decision to overturn his visa cancellation was the “biggest victory in his career.”

The ruling overturned the cancellation of his visa on Covid-19 health grounds, and ending his detention, potentially clearing the way for his attempt on an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam singles title.

ALSO READ: Tennis star Novak Djokovic wins Australia visa case

The first Grand Slam of the year begins next Monday in Melbourne.

“Despite all that has happened,I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen. I remain focused on that,” Djokovic tweeted.

His mother Dijana, appearing at a press conference in Belgrade, called it “the biggest victory in his career, bigger than all his grand slams”.

His brother Djordje said justice had been served. 

“Truth and justice came to the light. I would like to thank the justice system of Australia,” said his brother Djordje, adding Djokovic had been able to train since being released from detention. 

The 34-year-old Serbian had been held for several nights in an immigration detention facility in Melbourne after he failed to present a solid medical reason for not being jabbed against Covid-19.

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Djokovic has not been vaccinated against Covid-19 and armed with a medical exemption from the Australia Open organisers had arrived in Melbourne last Wednesday ahead of the first Grand Slam of the season.

However, immigration officials decided the champion had failed to present a solid medical reason for not being jabbed.

Despite losing in court the Australian government has warned it could still force Djokovic to leave by cancelling his visa for a second time, which would see the Serb miss the Australian Open, which starts on January 17.