Novak Djokovic vs. Australia


Just imagine flying all the way to the 2022 Australian Open just to find out that the world number 1 isn’t in the draw. This is what went down just before the Australian Open kicked off for the 117th time this year.

Since he was not vaccinated for Covid-19, Novak Djokovic was not allowed into the 2022 Australian Open draw. Although Djokovic has never publicly spoken about his Covid vaccination status, he mentioned a year ago that he was “opposed to vaccination.” This was just the beginning. 

It all started on January 4th when Djokovic posted on instagram that he was heading to Australia with an exemption permission, which allowed him to not be vaccinated. Australia later confirmed that he was given a medical exemption for private reasons. However, Djokovic’s luck soon ran out.

A day after Djokovic arrived in Melbourne, Australia, he was denied entry into the country and was stuck in the airport with all of his visas canceled. The same day, the Australian Prime Minister put out a statement saying “rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders.” This didn’t sit right with many people, including the Serbian Prime Minister: “harassment,” the prime minister called it. 

A few days later, a federal circuit court judge overturns the ruling, allowing Djokovic to be freed from detainment. It only took Djokovic a few hours until he was spotted practicing at the site of the Australian Open. Afterward, Djokovic posted on social media, saying that there were mistakes on his visa and claiming that that could be a reason for the confusion. Just a day after he was freed, he was penned into the draw as the world number 1. However, it only took two days for another judge to revoke his visa once again, stating that it was in the public interest to do so. Djokovic’s lawyers appealed to the ruling and awaited another trial. In the end, Djokovic lost the case to stay in Australia and was deported out of the country right away – no exceptions. 

Although the situation is very unfortunate, after Rafa Nadal, one of his greatest rivals, won the Australian Open on January 30th, Djokovic planned to get vaccinated. Even after this mess, it has become evident that Djokovic is desperate to get back on tour.