Australian federal court upholds cancellation of Djokovic's Australian visa

  • Tennis
  • Sunday, 16 Jan 2022

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic departs the Park Hotel while under immigration detention, to convene with his legal team after his visa to play in the Australian Open was cancelled a second time, in Melbourne, Australia, January 16, 2022. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian court upheld a government decision to cancel Novak Djokovic's visa on Sunday, ending the unvaccinated tennis superstar's hopes of winning the Australian Open and racking up a record-breaking 21 men's Grand Slam titles.

Ruling on a case that has gripped Australia and the sporting world for more than a week, a three-judge bench of the Federal Court heard government lawyers arguments that Djokovic's continued presence risked whipping up anti-vaccination sentiment during Australia's worst outbreak of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

A medical exemption that allowed the Serbian tennis world number one to enter the country without being vaccinated had sparked fury in Australia, and became a political issue for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has to call a federal election before May.

(Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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