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Novak Djokovic lost another set. Although he still has a game. Alex Hawke, Australian Immigration Minister, exercised the personal power conferred on him by law to revoke for the second time the visa of the Serbian tennis player who, right now, could not defend his title at the Australian Open which begins on Monday and of which he is a nine-time champion.

There is still a loophole for him. Judge Anthony Kelly urgently summoned the parties in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia at 10:45 p.m. in Australia. And after the hearing, it was clear that The Serb will not be detained today, thus stopping an immediate deportation. The magistrate decreed that tomorrow he be taken before officials of the Immigration Ministry at 08:00 (22:00 on Friday in Spain) to be questioned again. After that, the Serbian will be transferred to the offices of his lawyers from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to prepare his defense. And on Sunday at 09:00 (23:00 on Saturday in Spain) the hearing, which is supposed to be definitive, will take place in another court, since the case is transferred to the Federal Court of Australia. The tennis player will remain detained again in a place that has not been revealed and that, according to Kelly’s resolution, the parties had to agree.

If Djokovic’s explanations do not prosper, he would have to leave the country, which could be banned from entering for three years, which would prevent him from playing the Grand Slam until 2025, already at 37.

“Today I have exercised my authority under section 133C (3) of the Immigration Act to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa, for reasons of health and good order, based on the public interest.”Hawke stated in a statement published around six in the afternoon in Australia, 08:00 in Spain. A very generic reason, but based on the popular support of 83% of the population, which, according to a NewsCorp poll, demanded the Serb’s deportation. A popular measure in a country that holds elections in May.

“Before making this decision I carefully reviewed the information provided to me by the Home Department, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic. The Scott Morrison Government is strongly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, especially in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”continues the minister.

The first Minister Morrison also spoke: “Our strong border protection policies have kept Australians safe, before COVID and now during the pandemic.” Australia has endured one of the harshest confinements in the world and now infections by the omicrom variant have skyrocketed, which has even forced Melbourne Park’s capacity to be reduced to 50%.

The Serbian, who has not been vaccinated against COVID-19, arrived at Tullamarine airport on Wednesday last week with a medical exemption extended by the Australian Open validated by a panel of independent doctors and epidemiologists, but the Border Forces invalidated his visa and he remained held and isolated in a hotel until last Monday, when Judge Kelly ordered his release on the grounds that the player did not have enough time to give their explanations. Without going into the heart of the matter.

Border agents considered the medical exemption irregular, based on Djokovic contracting coronavirus (for the second time) last month. That allowed him to get around the mandatory 14-day quarantine that Australia imposes on the unvaccinated. His positive PCR was dated December 16, but on the 17th he attended events in Belgrade without a mask no social distance. He argued that he still did not know the result. And on the 18th he gave an interview with a photo shoot to the French medium L’Équipe. “An error in judgment,” he apologized in a later statement. But there were more mistakes. In his entry declaration he lied by answering ‘no’ in the box if he visited a third country before traveling to Melbourne. However, he had been preparing in Marbella. “Human error” of his agents, he also apologized.

The point is that Djokovic, who was included in the draw for the draw on Thursday, He already had a rival to make his debut: his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic and, as announced by the tournament, he would play on Monday when circulating in the upper part. No time to rest after two days of court. If he is finally sent off, his place will be taken by the fifth seed, the Russian Andrey Rublev, and would disappear from the path of Rafa Nadal, with whom he could face in the semifinals. Although if there was already an order of play with schedules, his substitute would be a lucky loser (losing tennis player in the previous one). A monumental mess.