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Djokovic has returned to Australia for a slew of nights in detention before a court hearing

Djokovic has returned to Australia for a slew of nights in detention before a court hearing

Novak Djokovic will be detained for a week in immigration detention before he will appeal for a court ruling to stop his deportation and keep his bid for a record 21st major at the Australian Open.

According to a Reuters witness, Djokovic has arrived at Melbourne's, the same immigration detention facility he was held last week.

As Djokovic and Border Force guards drove into the underground garage of the hotel, which is being held in COVID-19 quarantine, about a dozen refugees chanted "stop the torture... let them out."

A man cycling past the hotel screamed: "Go home, Novak!"

Djokovic has spent his first four nights in Australia in hotel detention before a judge on Monday, proving that his decision to cancel his visa was unreasonable.

Alex Hawke, the Serbian star of the Serbian Immigration Minister, has decided to resign the visa because his presence could encourage opposition to COVID-19 vaccination in Australia, according to court documents released on Saturday.

"Although I... accept that Mr Djokovic poses a negligible individual risk of transmitting COVID-19 to other persons, I nonetheless believe that his presence may be a danger to the Australian community," Hawke said in a letter to Djokovic and his legal team.

According to Djokovic's affidavit, the explanation is more straightforward than the brief statement Hawke issued on Friday, which stated that his decision was based on "health and good order grounds."

On Sunday (2230 GMT on Saturday), Justice David O'Callaghan set a hearing on Djokovic's appeal, a hearing on whether it would be heard before a single judge or a full court.

Djokovic's lawyers said on Friday that deportation would only enrage anti-vaccine sentiment and at a rate that would be a threat to his health and he'll entitle him to staying without leaving the country.

The 34-year-old would be put in immigration detention under a court order on Friday night.

The Border Force and the Immigration Minister's office did not immediately respond to requests for clarification on whether Djokovic had participated in the interview.

Djokovic wants to win the Australian Open as a result of his appeal.


The controversy has overshadowed the traditional build-up to the Grand Slam event, and the players were from the saga.

Rafa Nadal, who is tied for 20 major titles with Djokovic, has told reporters at Melbourne Park, where the event will be held.

Alexander Zverev, the world number three, said Djokovic had been treated unfairly and that the Serb might have been used as a political pawn by Australian authorities, according to Canberra.

"This is obviously not a good thing for everyone, for him especially, but don't misunderstand his legacy," Zverev said.

Djokovic's medical exemption from vaccine requirements to play the Open prompted immense anger in Australia, which has been underwent some of the world's worst COVID-19 lockdowns, and where more than 90% of adults are vaccinated, but hospitalization rates continue to rise.

The refusal of Djokovic to get the jab has shaped the anti-vaccination movement, particularly in his native and surrounding countries.

As he prepares for an election, the controversy over the tennis player has become a political concern for Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

In the wake of the epidemic, his government has received a support from the United States for its strictness on border security, but he has been criticised for handling Djokovic's visa application.

Djokovic, who will play Miomir Kecmanovi in the first round of the Open, is hoping for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title. Instead of hitting Rod Laver Arena on Monday, he might be deported on a flight out of Melbourne.

He has the option of resigning and leaving Australia from his own way.

"The Australian Open is much more important than any player," said Nadal, whom Djokovic considers as his greatest opponent on a tennis court.

"If he's playing finally, okay, or if he's not playing, the Australian Open will be great... with or without him."

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