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Djokovic Takes Legal Action Against Visa Withdrawal - Hearing Planned

After the cancellation of his entry visa, Novak Djokovic fights practically at the last minute against his deportation from Australia.

Lawyers of the world's number one appealed against the visa revocation before a court in Melbourne on Thursday afternoon, as the Australian news portal "The Age" reported. Accordingly, they were still looking for documents and should be heard by Judge Anthony Kelly during the day.

Djokovic had traveled to Australia with a highly controversial medical exemption and landed in Melbourne late Wednesday evening (local time) to take part in the Australian Open.

The tournament starts on January 17th. The Australian border protection authority, however, denied him regular entry - and instead had the 34-year-old brought to a hotel for those obliged to leave the country. Djokovic should start the journey home on Thursday.

Djokovic will stay in Melbourne at least until Monday

"The visa for Novak Djokovic has been canceled," confirmed Australia's Health Minister Greg Hunt on Thursday morning (local time). 

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Djokovic was unable to show that he met the entry requirements, so "the visa was subsequently canceled," said the statement from the border protection authority.

The court adjourned the hearing of his attorneys until 10:00 a.m. (local time) on Monday, the newspaper "The Age" reported on Thursday.

The world number one wants to challenge the visa cancellation in order to play at the Australian Open, which begins on January 17th. The 34-year-old was originally supposed to start his journey home on Thursday.

Hearing planned for Friday morning

According to the AAP, there should be another hearing in the evening. Judge Anthony Kelly assumes that this will happen by Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. (00:00 a.m. CET). A decision is not possible before reading the lawyers' application, Kelly said, according to the AAP.

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that anyone entering Australia must ensure that they are entitled to do so and that they can prove it. This requires proof of a double vaccination or a valid medical exemption.

"Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders," wrote Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Twitter. "Nobody stands above these rules."

Nadal has little pity

On Tuesday, Djokovic announced after weeks of silence that he would fly to Australia thanks to a special permit. He has still not made his vaccination status public. If he were vaccinated, he would not need a special permit.

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Djokovic has already won the Australian Open nine times and was determined to compete this time as the defending champion. If he had won, he would have left his competitors Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal behind with Grand Slam triumph number 21.

In any case, Nadal had little sympathy for Djokovic. "I had Covid, I have been vaccinated twice.

If you do that, you have no problem playing here and anywhere in the world. That is the only thing that is clear," said the Spaniard in Melbourne on Thursday.

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