Australia cancels Novak Djokovic’s visa for the second time

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates beating Marin Cilic of Croatia in match 2 of Davis Cup semifinals at Madrid Arena on December 3, 2021.

Sanjin Strukic Pixel | MB Media | Getty Images

Tennis star Novak Djokovic has had his visa canceled again ahead of the Australian Open as excitement mounts over his Covid-19 vaccination status.

It comes after Djokovic won a court battle on Monday to remain in the country after his visa was originally revoked. The 34-year-old Serbian national was arrested at an immigration facility last week after arriving in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open because officials said he flouted the country’s strict entry requirements, which require visitors to be vaccinated against Covid.

Monday’s court ruling meant Djokovic’s visa remained valid and he was released from custody. But the Australian government has now acted again.

“Today I exercised my authority under Section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to annul Mr Novak Djokovic’s visa on grounds of health and good order, as it was in the public interest to do so,” Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement on Friday.

Djokovic, a vocal vaccine skeptic who is aiming for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title, initially had his passport confiscated on January 5 after customs officials ruled he did not have adequate medical justification for a vaccination exemption.