Novak Djokovic court hearing kicks off concerning his fate in Australia
World’s top-ranked tennis player following hearing via video conference
The Federal Court of Australia in Melbourne will decide Sunday whether Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic can stay in the country.
The hearing, where the objection to an earlier ruling was discussed, started at 9.30 a.m. local time.
Djokovic, 34, is following the hearing via video conference.
A small number of fans, mostly Australians of Serbian origin living in Australia, showed up to support Djokovic in front of the courthouse.
“Given the significant public interest in this matter, the Court has adopted a publicly available Online File,” the court said on its website.
Djokovic was detained Saturday after Australian officials canceled his visa for a second time.
"Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so," Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said Friday.
The world’s top-ranked player was guaranteed by a court's decision that he would not be deported until his case is concluded.
If the court overturns Hawke's visa decision, Djokovic will compete in the Australian Open that begins Monday.
Djokovic said Jan. 4 that he had been granted a medical exemption from being vaccinated for the coronavirus but after his arrival, the Australian Border Force canceled his visa for failing to meet COVID-19 entry requirements.
After he was sent to an immigration detention hotel in Melbourne, a federal court ordered his release.
Australia mandates all players be fully vaccinated for the coronavirus to compete in the year's first major tennis tournament.
Djokovic was included Thursday in the official draw for the tournament.
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