The last month has been crazy for tennis star Novak Djokovic, who found himself at the center of a situation involving deportation and legal battles with the country of Australia.
Djokovic’s status for the tournament was up in the air for a lengthy amount of time, but on Jan. 4, he announced via his Instagram that he was heading to defend his title after receiving a medical exemption from being vaccinated against COVID-19.
Upon arriving in Australia, the tennis star was detained at the airport, and was denied entry into the country. After another review of his exemption, his visa was canceled after the border control said that he failed to meet the necessary medical requirements.
Naturally, Djokovic appealed the decision, and this time, he won. His visa was reinstated and allowed into Australia, where he was expected to take to the courts to try and defend his Australian Open title.
According to the timeline of events created by ESPN, after a couple of days a statement from Djokovic was released in which he admits he made an error in his documentation, and that he had tested positive for COVID-19 the month prior.
After the schedule was announced for the tournament Djokovic had his visa revoked again, this time coming directly from the immigration minister.
On Jan. 16, Djokovic once again appealed the decision, but this time he lost, and he was deported from the country. With this punishment comes another one, Djokovic is now banned from entering the country for three years.
The Australian Prime minister Scott Morrison supported the government, welcoming the decision that would “keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe.”
The story very quickly picked up steam, as Djokovic is ranked as one of the top tennis players in the world, and his absence in Australia will surely be felt.
Without Djokovic present Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open, defeating Daniil Medvedev and winning his second Australian open.
The saga for Djokovic appears to be nearing a close as it is being reported that the tennis star will now get the vaccine. After going through this whole debacle, it seems like the trouble and unwanted attention is not worth it.
Djokovic’s biographer also indicated in an interview that Nadal winning the tournament he was kicked out of as playing a part in the decision to get vaccinated. With the win, Nadal now has the record for the most grand slam titles, sitting just one ahead of Djokovic.