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‘What more could this man have done?’ – Novak Djokovic court case judge ‘agitated’ over evidence


Novak Djokovic is hoping to remain in Australia and defend his title next week (Picture: Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The judge who will decide whether Novak Djokovic will be deported from Australia or not has questioned what more the tennis star could have done to enter the country.

The Serb arrived in Melbourne late on Wednesday night having been granted a medical exemption to play at the Australian Open – a reason not to be vaccinated against coronavirus – only to see his visa denied.

He has been in an immigration detention hotel ever since with and a court hearing is now underway to determine the outcome of his appeal against his visa being rejected.

Lawyer Nick Wood, representing the world No.1, explained how the tennis star had followed the necessary advice before travelling to Australia.

‘He had done absolutely everything. He had engaged with everything that was required of him by Tennis Australia,’ said Wood.

‘Djokovic was not even identified, as he should be [as to where he went wrong].’

Judge Anthony Kelly listened to Djokovic’s case in the morning session and seemed to agree with the arguments put forward.

‘A professor and an eminently qualified physician have produced and provided to the applicant a medical exemption,’ he said.

Novak Djokovic is the reigning champion having won the Australian Open nine times (Picture: TPN/Getty Images)

‘Further to that, that medical exemption and the basis on which it was given was separately given by a further independent expert specialist panel, established by the Victorian state government. And that document was in the hands of the delegate.

‘And the point I’m somewhat agitated about is, was what more could this man have done?’

While technical issues plagued the Federal Circuit Court on Monday morning local time, Wood went on to explain how Djokovic was ‘utterly confused’ by the situation because he had done everything that was asked of him.

The government’s lawyers will put forward their case after lunch, and will argue Djokovic is wrong to challenge the claim that previous infection is grounds for an exemption.

They say the ATAGI advice is clear that past infection is not a contraindication for infection and instead a person can defer vaccination for six months after acute illness.

Djokovic tested positive for Covid-19 on December 16 and has never publicly revealed his vaccination status that has caused uproar given it’s a requirement players at the Australian Open are vaccinated.

The 34-year-old has won the Grand Slam a record nine times but it remains to be seen if he’ll be in contention to defend his title when the tournament begins on January 17.


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