Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic vows to tell his 'version' of events in Australia at a later date

An 11-day saga over Djokovic's entry visa ended with the Serb being deported for failing to meet Australia’s strict Covid-19 vaccination requirements.

The top-ranked tennis star met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Thursday and described the events in Australia as “unexpected, to say the least”.

“I wanted to meet with you today because, primarily as a citizen of Serbia, I felt a great need to thank you for great support that you, as the president of Serbia, gave me, as well as all state institutions during the unfortunate events in Australia,” Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic set for return to action in Dubai after missing Australian Open

The 34-year-old was deported from Australia on the eve of the Australian Open after losing a court bid to overturn his visa cancellation.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner is on the entry list for the Dubai ATP Tour event, which begins on 21 February.

Entrants to Dubai, where the Serb is a five-time winner, do not need to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Tennis Australia said it "deeply regrets" the impact Djokovic's deportation saga had on players at the Australian Open, as the focus on the 2021 champion's fate overshadowed the build-up to this year's tournament.

Djokovic back in Serbia after Australia deportation over visa row

The top men's tennis player was deported after losing a visa battle that centred on the fact he is unvaccinated.

Supporters gathered at the airport in Belgrade, waving the national flag and chanting "we love Novak".

"This is a shame what they did to Novak in Australia," one supporter said. "This is a shame what the world has come to."

"I myself am vaccinated, double-jabbed, but I think no-one should be forced to do something... he was judged and sentenced for his freedom of choice," he added.

Novak Djokovic flies out of Australia after court throws out visa challenge

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke announced on social media that the world's number one men's tennis player had left the country.

His flight out of Melbourne ended a dramatic 11 days in which the Serbian had his visa to Australia revoked twice.

The second time came when Hawke used his powers as Immigration Minister to cancel Djokovic's visa, after lawyers for the world number one overturned the original decision by Australian Border force.

A judicial review of Hawke's decision to cancel the Serbian's visa was heard by the full bench of the Federal Court on Sunday.

Novak Djokovic: Newsreaders caught in expletive-laden rant

It shows Channel 7 journalists Mike Amor and Rebecca Maddern talking candidly about the tennis star as they prepare to read Tuesday's evening news.

Maddern says Djokovic is "lying" and "sneaky", while Amor says the athlete has "fallen over his own... lies".

Channel 7 has launched an investigation into the "illegal" leak.

Novak Djokovic's family abruptly end press conference over infection question

As Novak Djokovic returned to Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena for a late-night training session on Monday following the Federal Circuit Court overturning the Australian government’s cancellation of his visa, his family called a press conference in Serbia to hail the decision.

“Thank God that God exists ... this is the biggest victory in his career, bigger than all of his grand slams,” Novak’s mother, Dijana Djokovic, told a press conference in Belgrade.

Novak Djokovic focused on Australian Open after winning court ruling

The 34-year-old Serb said he practised on court in Melbourne within hours of leaving an immigration detention hotel.

But Australia's immigration minister still has powers to re-cancel the visa and deport the unvaccinated player.

"Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete in the Australian Open," Djokovic tweeted.

The statement continued: "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."

Novak Djokovic court hearing underway for right to play in the Australian Open

The hearing was to begin at 10am in Melbourne (noon NZ time) in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

The Age newspaper reported a small, “jovial’’ crowd of around 50 Djokovic supporters gathered outside the court on Monday morning in support of the Serbian star.

The 34-year-old's lawyers will argue that he met the criteria for a temporary exemption under Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) guidelines and that he was denied procedural fairness during the decision to revoke his visa.

Djokovic gets some support from fellow pros

Djokovic, who has won a record nine Australian Open titles, was detained at the Melbourne airport on Wednesday evening and his entry visa, supported by an medical exemption from the country's vaccination requirements, was revoked.

Federal Border Force officials at the airport said Djokovic was unable to justify the grounds for his exemption.

Chasing a men's record 21st Grand Slam, Djokovic is holed up in immigration detention as his lawyers battle to secure his release to play in the Australian Open and be exempt from strict Covid-19 vaccination requirements.

Djokovic to stay in Australia until at least Monday

The Serbian is now holed up in a hotel room, near Melbourne Park, after having his visa cancelled when he arrived in Australia late on Wednesday.

At a hearing yesterday, representatives for the Serbian champion and for the Minister for Immigration reached agreement that no move would be made to deport the 20-time major winner before Monday's hearing in a Federal court.

The hearing will be a week before the start of the 2022 Australian Open, a tournament in which Djokovic was pressing for a 10th title in Melbourne and a record for men of 21 Grand Slam titles.