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Novak Djokovic has begun his fight to play in the Australian Open despite impending deportation.
The nine-time champion is battling against authorities after his visa was cancelled due to his 'medical exemption' from the coronavirus vaccine.
According to Australian media, Djokovic didn't appear for the hearing which was held in the Federal Circuit and Family Court.
According to government lawyer Christopher Tran there are three options available to the court: first is not to deport him until a hearing which is expected to take place on Monday.
The next option is to remove him from Australia immediately and the third 'pathway' was seeking to deport him before a final hearing - but not right away.
But the judge dealing with the case was more interested in the tennis ace's training schedule and asked whether the immigration hotel he's been placed in has a tennis court.
Asking about the facilities, Judge Anthony Kelly said: "I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the court to ask … whether the particular hotel at which the applicant is staying … might have available to him tennis practising facilities.
"I don’t expect you to answer that, but it just seems a realistic question to pose."
Djokovic reportedly had submitted an application for a visa that doesn't allow for medical exemptions against the coronavirus vaccine.
With that, the Australian Border Force (ABF) cancelled his visa and in a statement said: "The ABF will continue to ensure that those who arrive at our border comply with our laws and entry requirements.
"The ABF can confirm that Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.
“Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia."
Commenting on the reports that he was held in the airport without his phone, the ABF went on to add: "The ABF can confirm Mr Djokovic had access to his phone.”
Acting Sports Minister Jaala Pulford confirmed that the state government was not supporting his visa application to compete in the Australian Open.
Update on #AusOpen2022…— Jaala Pulford MP (@JaalaPulford) January 5, 2022
The Federal Government has asked if we will support Novak Djokovic’s visa application to enter Australia.
We will not be providing Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam.
She tweeted: “The Federal Government has asked if we will support Novak Djokovic’s visa application to enter Australia.
“We will not be providing Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam.
“We’ve always been clear on two points: visa approvals are a matter for the Federal Government, and medical exemptions are a matter for doctors.”
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