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Sport: Doomsday Djokovic scenario in GOAT race

Australian authorities' bid to delay Djokovic hearing rejected

  Australian authorities' bid to delay Djokovic hearing rejected Australian authorities have been denied in a bid to delay Novak Djokovic's appeal against his visa cancellation from being heard on Monday.On Sunday, Judge Anthony Kelly rejected the submission by home affairs minister Karen Andrews to delay the hearing. However, the judge left the government with the option of making another application to delay on Monday.

Despite coming home to a hero's welcome in Serbia, Novak Djokovic faces an uncertain future at this year's Grand Slam events, former Australian player Sam Groth says.

The world No.1's eventual deportation hogged the headlines in the lead up to the year's first Grand Slam tournament but the controversy surrounding his vaccination status is set to follow him according to Groth.

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"It's going to be difficult, we know in France the French president is making it difficult for unvaccinated people," Groth told Wide World of Sports' The Morning Serve.

Murray: Djokovic has questions to answer

  Murray: Djokovic has questions to answer Former world No.1 Andy Murray says Novak Djokovic must open up on his movements after the Serb claims he tested positive to COVID-19.Djokovic was named top seed for next week's Australian Open on Tuesday, capping off a manic few days for the nine-times champion since arriving in Australia.

"New York has vaccine mandates. I think as the year goes on it's going to get harder and harder for unvaccinated players to travel around.

"What decision Novak makes is up to him but he's also got to understand the consequences that come with that. There's a lot of talk about how Novak is going to play in Melbourne next year but there's a lot more to play out until AO 2023."

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A man takes a selfie with Novak Djokovic after his arrival in Belgrade, Serbia. © AP A man takes a selfie with Novak Djokovic after his arrival in Belgrade, Serbia.

Djokovic is level with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, with all three having won a record 20 Grand Slams.


Video: Djokovic hits practice courts early (9News.com.au)

But the top-ranked men's player could also be barred from the French Open this year, under a new law intended to exclude the unvaccinated from stadiums and other public places.

Immigration to interview Djokovic on visa

  Immigration to interview Djokovic on visa Novak Djokovic will be detained by immigration officials on Saturday after his visa was cancelled. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his discretionary powers late on Friday afternoon to cancel the world No.1's visa, after considering evidence from Djokovic's lawyers, along with advice from federal agencies. "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 held in the public interest to do so," Mr Hawke said in a statement.

Much could change between now and the start of the Grand Slam tournament in late May, but that raised the idea that the recent saga in Australia would be not just a blip but an ongoing challenge for the athlete, who is increasingly being held up as a hero by the anti-vaccine movement.

Fans wave a Serbian flag as Novak Djokovic arrives at the Nikola Tesla airport in Belgrade. © AP Fans wave a Serbian flag as Novak Djokovic arrives at the Nikola Tesla airport in Belgrade.

A member of the French parliament, Christophe Castaner, said that the new law will apply to anyone who wants to play in the French Open — a reversal of earlier plans to create a "bubble" around the tournament.

"To do your job, to come for pleasure or leisure, to practice a sport, it will be necessary to present a vaccine. This will be valid for people who live in France but also for foreigners who come to our country for vacation or for a major sports competition," Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu told BFM television on Monday.

Serbs are angry at the Australian government — but the reasons are more complicated than you might think

  Serbs are angry at the Australian government — but the reasons are more complicated than you might think In Serbia, Novak Djokovic is not just a tennis star, he's a national hero who has brought hope and light to the country after dark times, Isabella Higgins writes from Belgrade.In the southern suburbs of the capital Belgrade, the tennis star is memorialised with not one, but two murals in a complex of ageing concrete, brutalist, apartment buildings.

But some details of the law are still being hashed out — including how it will deal with people who have recently recovered from COVID-19, as Djokovic says he has.

The question is how recent the infection has to be to qualify for an exemption to vaccination rules.

Djokovic is also the defending champion at Wimbledon, which begins in late June.

But so far, England has allowed exemptions from various coronavirus regulations for visiting athletes, if they remain at their accommodation when not competing or training.

The US Tennis Association, which runs the US Open, has said it will follow government rules on vaccination status.

- with AP

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Australia finds unlikely ally in Djokovic stoush .
The lesson from the Djokovic fiasco to all sports governing bodies is that, when it comes to preserving the social licence of your sport, even the biggest name athlete is only as good as their last jab. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt believes the lesson for other national governments is equally clear."The world saw Australia hold firm," he told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. "Whilst there was a lot of commentary, the vast majority of people in Australia, the vast majority of people around the world and I believe, the vast majority of countries, have and will support the position we have taken.

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