Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic loses his Australian visa appeal, says he is 'disappointed' with result
Novak Djokovicwas detained after Australiawithdrew his visa for the second time.
- Australian officials said he posed a health risk and could embolden anti-vax groups.
The Australian government said Djokovic posed a health risk and could embolden anti-vax groups in the country, according to court documents. The country's Federal Court upheld the decision to cancel the tennis star's visa on Monday.
The men's tennis champion has said that he is "extremely disappointed" with the outcome, AP reports but added that he respects the court's ruling and shall "cooperate with the relevant authorities" concerning leaving Australia.
Djokovic's lawyer said in court that the government's argument was one-sided and that it was "somewhat perverse to adopt such a narrow lens" to suggest his presence could embolden anti-vaxxers. They argued that it was "irrational" not to "consider the binary alternative, which was the prospect of anti-vax sentiment being fostered consequent to or following from coercive state action, being cancellation and expulsion."
In Serbia, Djokovic's home country, President Aleksandar Vucic described the hearing as "a farce with a lot of lies," ESPN reports.
"They think that they humiliated Djokovic with this 10-day harassment, and they actually humiliated themselves. If you said that the one who was not vaccinated has no right to enter, Novak would not come or would be vaccinated," Vucic told reporters.
Djokovic arrived in Australia on January 6 ahead of the Australian Open, which will start on Monday.
AP also reported that Djokovic said he was "uncomfortable" with the attention that he has received since his first visa was canceled at Melbourne's airport on January 6.
"I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love," he said.
Though he is set to be deported, CNN reported that Djokovic still has some legal options.
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