An Australian court ruled on Monday, Jan. 10, that tennis superstar Novak Djokovic can stay in Australia after he was blocked from entering the country to contest the Australian Open due to his vaccination status.
Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly reinstated Djokovic’s visa, which was revoked last week because the Australian officials decided he did not fulfill an exception to COVID-19 vaccination requirements that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated, the Associated Press reported.
Kelly ruled that Djokovic had not been given enough time to get advice from his lawyers before his visa was revoked and ordered the Australian government to release the tennis player from a quarantine hotel in Melbourne.
At a court hearing on Monday, Djokovic’s lawyers argued the player did not need proof of vaccination because he had evidence that he recovered from the virus last month.
Djokovic celebrated his court battle win by tweeting a photo with his team standing at the court where the Australian Open tournament will be held. He vowed to stay and compete for the event which he has won nine of his 20 major titles.
“I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans,” Djokovic wrote on Twitter.
However, the drama might not be finished as the Australian government is threatening to cancel his visa a second time and deport him.
Judge Anthony Kelly noted that a delegate for the home affairs minister would decide on Thursday that Djokovic’s visa would be canceled.
Government lawyer Christopher Tran told the judge that the immigration minister “will consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation.” That means Djokovic could face deportation again and miss the tournament which started on Jan. 17.
In Australia, medical authorities have ruled that people who have been infected with COVID-19 within six months can receive a temporary exemption to the vaccination rule.