Tennis star Novak Djokovic has a good chance of making it to the Australian Open despite the entry ban, according to an expert.
“There’s no risk in letting him back in,” immigration attorney Kon-Ming Tsai told The Associated Press. In his opinion, the 21-time Grand Slam winner’s entry was “in the best interest of Australia”: “He will not cause a problem for society. He is one of the best tennis players in the world and is impressive. A lot of foreign visitors.”
Tsai said Djokovic has a better chance of success if he applies for an entry visa. All he had to do was write to Australian border officials, explaining his extraordinary circumstances and asking them to lift the ban on re-entry. According to the Australian Border Protection Agency, the entry ban may be lifted in certain circumstances, and each case will be examined on a case-by-case basis.
A tennis star with a three-year entry ban
Tournament director Craig Tiley announced on Wednesday that Djokovic, 35, would like to start at the Grand Slam in Melbourne next January. It is the Serbs who clarify the “situation” with the government. Djokovic, who has not been vaccinated against Covid-19, had to leave Australia after a legal dispute after entering the Australian Open in January this year. He was also banned from entering the country for three years.
Criticism that the nine-time champion could receive special treatment came from opposition politician Karen Andrews, who was Djokovic’s home minister at the time of his exile. “It would be a slap in the face to the people of Australia if Novak Djokovic was suddenly allowed to return to the country as a great tennis player,” Andrews told ABC radio.
Besides the Australian Open, Djokovic also missed the US Open in August this year because he was not allowed to enter the US without vaccination. The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, will be held in Melbourne from January 16 to 29.
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