Djokovic news LIVE: World No 1 waits on Australian immigration minister’s decision over visa

Tennis star Novak Djokovic was back on the tennis court in Melbourne

Novak Djokovic is preparing for the Australian Open at last, after days of uncertainty over him being allowed to enter the country – and even now there remains suggestions he has more questions to answer. Despite winning his appeal to have his visa application accepted, minister for immigration Alex Hawke is still considering the possibility of “a personal power of cancellation”, a move which could yet drag on for several days.

The men’s world number one has also now admitted he broke isolation and conducted an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe when he knew he was positive for the virus while it has also emerged that he could face up to five years in prison if he lied about his positive test.

He will face yet further questions, possibly from the Australian Border Force, over claims he misconstrued information on his travel declaration form, saying he had not travelled elsewhere before heading Down Under – despite photos emerging of him training in Spain just before the new year. Andy Murray has acknowledged Djokovic is likely to have to answer questions in public, too, after the isolation controversy, but hopes the Serbian can get back to focusing on tennis now.

Follow all the latest news and updates as Djokovic prepares for the Australian Open below.


Murray: Djokovic still has questions to answer

Novak Djokovic still has questions to answer over Australian visa controversy, Andy Murray says

Andy Murray has said Novak Djokovic still has questions to answer over his controversial entry into Australia, despite the world No 1 winning an appeal against being deported from the country.

Djokovic is set to defend his Australian Open title after an order to cancel his visa following scrutiny of his medical exemption for the Covid vaccine was quashed in a court hearing.

Djokovic has also yet to address claims that he attended a public event after returning a positive PCR result last month and the player’s family abruptly shut down a press conference when asked whether he had broken self-isolation rules on Monday.

And while Murray, a long-time friend and rival of Djokovic, welcomed his the outcome of the court hearing and his release, the former British No 1 said he must address those remaining questions ahead of the start of the tournament on 17 January.

“Obviously he won in court so that’s a positive thing for him. Hopefully he will be able to concentrate on the tennis now.

“I think there are still a few questions that need to be answered around the isolation and stuff, which I’m sure we’ll hear from him in the next few days.”

Lawrence Ostlere12 January 2022 18:01


Djokovic does not have the ‘right’ to be in Australia

Speaking to the Hungarian outlet M4Sport, Marton Fucsovics said: “People’s health is paramount, and there are rules that were outlined months ago, namely that everyone should vaccinate themselves – and Djokovic didn’t.

“From this point of view, I don’t think he would have the right to be here.”

The Hungarian world number 38, who lost to Djokovic in last year’s Wimbledon quarter-finals and in the Paris Masters in November, also said he was not alone in thinking it unfair that Djokovic could play in the Gram Slam despite not being vaccinated.

Lawrence Ostlere12 January 2022 17:36


Kyrgios ‘embarrassed’ to be Australian

Nick Kyrgios ‘embarrassed’ to be an Australian athlete after Novak Djokovic visa debacle

The controversial Australian player is currently isolating after testing positive for Covid, which forced him to withdraw from the Sydney Tennis Classic.

And Kyrgios has hit out at the media over the controversy surrounding Djokovic’s visa and vaccination exemption, while conceding he is “embarrassed” by the whole affair.

“We know that the media like to create s***-storms, with my story and everything going on with Novak,” said Kyrgios, who has tumbled down the world rankings to No 114. “I feel quite embarrassed as an Australian athlete who’s seen what this guy has done for us and for the sport.

“I just don’t think it’s right how we’re handling it, but the media loves to do that, loves to divide.”

Lawrence Ostlere12 January 2022 17:19


Djokovic seeded No1 in Melbourne

But the 34-year-old has been named the top seed ahead of Thursday’s Australian Open main draw. The tournament starts on Monday 17 January.

Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev make up the men’s top five.

For the women’s top seeds, Australian Ash Barty remains the No1, with Aryna Sabalenka, Garbine Muguruza, Barbora Krejcikova and Maria Sakkari joining her in the top five.

Lawrence Ostlere12 January 2022 17:01


Djokovic tipped to thrive in Melbourne

Djokovic won his appeal to stay in Australia on Monday after having his visa cancelled for not having sufficient evidence for his medical exemption. However, he could still be deported if Australia’s immigration minister Alex Hawke decides to re-cancel the visa in coming days.

The situation has many predicting crowds will be against him as he goes for a record 21st grand slam but Castle believes Djokovic will thrive in that environment.

“He’s such a stubborn and hard-working guy on court, if he gets this exemption and if the Australian government don’t supersede the court, I would say that he’s going to tee it up and play,” he told Sky.

“If he can get through two, three, four rounds, and play his way into the tournament – we know how good he is – I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him into the second week of this grand slam once again, because he is so stubborn and so good.

“When it’s time, and the bell rings, he’ll be ready to compete. Sometimes Novak can be even better when everyone is against him than when everyone is for him.”

Ben Burrows12 January 2022 16:49


Djokovic waits on fresh visa decision

Djokovic has been given a medical exemption to compete at the tournament as an unvaccinated player on the basis of a positive Covid test on 16 December, though the validity of that result has also been questioned.

It had been reported that a decision was due on Djokovic’s visa on Wednesday 12 January, but the day came and went without a ruling.

This means that Hawke will almost certainly decide on either Thursday 13 January or Friday 14 January. Djokovic has been named as the top seed ahead of the men’s draw, which takes place on Thursday.

Hawke’s colleagues in the Australian parliament are said to be split on whether to allow the nine-time Australian Open the chance to defend his title.

Djokovic admitted that he had knowingly broken isolation rules when attending a scheduled interview and photoshoot with French newspaper L’Equipe on December 18, having been notified of a positive PCR test one day prior.

Ben Burrows12 January 2022 16:39


Djokovic’s Australian Open hopes still in the balance

Novak Djokovic’s participation in the Australian Open continues to hang in the balance.

Hawke could be empowered to do so if it is found that Djokovic included false information on his immigration forms when entering Australia.

The 34-year-old admitted that he had travelled in the two weeks prior to arriving in Melbourne, contrary to what had been stated on the forms, but attributed this to a “human error” made by his agent.

Pictures on social media showed the Serbian in Belgrade over Christmas and training in Spain at New Year.

Djokovic originally had his visa refused on 6 January, soon after landing in the state of Victoria, and was detained.

This refusal was overturned by a judge in court on 10 January, and the Australian Open favourite has since been able to train in Melbourne.

With the first major of the year set to begin on Monday 17 January, time is tight for authorities to determine whether Djokovic is permitted to play.

Ben Burrows12 January 2022 16:37


All you need to know about the 2022 Australian Open

The men’s No 1 player has had an order for deportation quashed on appeal and has resumed practice at Melbourne Park, and barring any further twists and turns, Djokovic will begin his title defence next week as the No 1 seed.

Nonetheless the tournament is wide open even though Djokovic, the nine-time winner aiming to break a three-way tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slams, is the favourite.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the tournament:

Lawrence Ostlere12 January 2022 16:21


Djokovic back in training

Novak Djokovic received an “uncomfortable” reception from fellow players as he took part in a secret training session at the Australian Open on Tuesday, according to one reporter.

While Djokovic is still facing the possibility of having his visa revoked, as the Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke considers whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation, the nine-time Australian Open champion has returned to training ahead of the start of the tournament on 17 January.

Djokovic took part in a training session at the Rod Laver Arena, that was shrouded in secrecy after tournament organisers closed the doors to the practice and cut the live stream of the court.

Tennis Australia later released video of Djokovic practicing with coach Goran Ivanisevic, but the world No. 1 was also said to have taken part in an indoor gym session.

Novak Djokovic continues to train as he awaits the final verdict of the Australian immigration authorities (Mark Baker/AP).


Lawrence Ostlere12 January 2022 16:06


Djokovic’s Covid test result scrutinised

The validity of Novak Djokovic’s positive Covid test continues to come under scrutiny after an investigation suggested the test was returned 10 days after originally claimed.

German newspaper Der Spiegel alleged that their analysis of the digital version of the test showed a timestamp from the 26 December.

Lawrence Ostlere12 January 2022 15:51


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