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Timeline: Novak Djokovic’s bid to compete at Australian Open

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Timeline: Novak Djokovic’s bid to compete at Australian Open

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Novak Djokovic’s bid to get round guidelines requiring gamers on the Australian Open to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 remains to be in limbo.

Two panels accepted his request for a medical exemption with a view to enter Victoria state, the place the 12 months’s first Grand Slam tennis match is held, based mostly on having examined constructive prior to now six months for the sickness attributable to the novel coronavirus.

Djokovic’s visa was canceled by border officers when he arrived in Australia, earlier than a choose overturned that and mentioned the 34-year-old from Serbia may keep. As of Wednesday, Djokovic’s case was within the palms of Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, who has the facility to reject the visa and make the top-ranked participant go away the nation.

Djokovic is a nine-time champion on the Australian Open, together with every of the previous three years. He owns 20 Grand Slam singles titles in all, tying him with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for probably the most received by a person in tennis historical past.

Here’s a take a look at the timeline of occasions involving Djokovic’s journey to Australia, from a remark about COVID-19 vaccinations almost two years in the past to his makes an attempt Wednesday to make clear some parts of the case in his first intensive feedback about it:

April 2020: Because the coronavirus pandemic rages, Djokovic points an announcement, saying, “Personally I’m against the vaccination in opposition to COVID-19 so as {to be able to} journey. But when it turns into compulsory, I should decide whether or not to do it, or not.”

June 2020: With the skilled tennis excursions on hiatus due to the pandemic, Djokovic organizes a collection of exhibition matches in Serbia and Croatia with no guidelines requiring social distancing or masking. The Adria Tour is known as off after some gamers get COVID-19; Djokovic and his spouse, Jelena, check constructive.

Nov. 19, 2021: Confirming an edict made by the Victorian state authorities in late October, match director Craig Tiley says everybody on the 2022 Australian Open should be vaccinated for COVID-19. Djokovic’s vaccine standing is unknown on the time.

Dec. 8, 2021: Victoria state Deputy Premier James Merlino says medical exemptions for the vaccine coverage wouldn’t be “a loophole for privileged tennis gamers” and would solely be attainable in “distinctive circumstances, when you’ve got an acute medical situation.”

Dec. 14, 2021: Djokovic attends knowledgeable basketball recreation in Belgrade and is photographed hugging a number of gamers from each groups, together with some who later examined constructive.

Dec. 16, 2021: Djokovic exams constructive for COVID-19 in Serbia, though that’s not public data till revealed by courtroom paperwork in January. He later says he didn’t know the end result till Dec. 17.

Dec. 17, 2021: Djokovic attends an occasion in Belgrade honoring youth tennis gamers. Dad and mom put up images on social media displaying Djokovic and the younger gamers with out masks. Djokovic later says he was asymptomatic, took an antigen check earlier than the occasion that confirmed he was detrimental, and solely obtained the constructive PCR end result after the occasion.

Dec. 18, 2021: Understanding he examined constructive, Djokovic does an interview and picture shoot with the French newspaper L’Equipe. He acknowledges weeks later: “On reflection, this was an error of judgement.”

Dec. 22, 2021: In keeping with courtroom paperwork, Djokovic exams detrimental for COVID-19 in Serbia.

Dec. 29, 2021: Djokovic withdraws from Serbia’s group for the ATP Cup, days earlier than the competitors is because of start in Sydney. No motive is given.

Jan. 1, 2022: Tiley is requested in a TV interview about Djokovic’s standing for the Australian Open and responds: “There’s fairly a bit to play out and I feel it’ll play out within the coming days.”

Jan. 4, 2022: Djokovic posts on Instagram a photograph of himself at an airport with a caption that reads, partly: “I’m heading Down Below with an exemption permission.”

Tennis Australia follows with an announcement confirming Djokovic is on his solution to the nation with a medical exemption “granted following a rigorous assessment course of involving two separate impartial panels of medical specialists.”
Neither Djokovic nor Tennis Australia reveals the premise for his exemption. Tiley says a “handful” of exemptions had been granted out of 26 functions from gamers or others. A public outcry bubbles up on social media amongst Australians whereas Djokovic’s flight to Melbourne is within the air.

Jan. 5, 2022: Djokovic arrives at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport.

Jan. 6, 2022: After being detained for about eight hours upon arrival, Djokovic is denied entry to the nation and his visa is canceled. He’s despatched to an immigration lodge, the place he stays for 4 nights.

The Australian Border Pressure says Djokovic failed to satisfy entry necessities. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweets: “Guidelines are guidelines, particularly {when it comes to} our borders.”

Jan. 10, 2022: As a part of his authorized try and overturn the visa cancellation, Djokovic submits an affidavit that claims he isn’t vaccinated for COVID-19.

Federal Circuit Court docket Decide Anthony Kelly reinstates Djokovic’s visa, ruling the participant was not given sufficient time to talk to his attorneys earlier than the choice to deny him entry was made on the airport. Kelly orders the federal government to launch Djokovic from immigration detention. Hours later, Djokovic practices at Melbourne Park.

Jan. 11, 2022: Together with his standing nonetheless unsure, Djokovic is put in because the No. 1 seed for the boys’s discipline on the Australian Open. The match strictly follows the present rankings in figuring out seedings and Djokovic is ranked No. 1; he has spent extra weeks atop the ATP than another man within the historical past of the boys’s skilled tour’s computerized rankings.

Jan. 12, 2022: Djokovic’s most intensive public feedback on the matter come through a put up on social media that’s put up by somebody whereas he’s working towards on the Australian Open’s primary stadium.

He acknowledges a mistake on his journey declaration for Australia, which didn’t point out that he had been in a number of nations over the prior two weeks.

Djokovic blames his agent for checking the flawed field on the shape, calling it “a human error and definitely not deliberate.” He additionally clarifies the timing of his constructive COVID-19 check from December and subsequent whereabouts.

Jan. 13, 2022: The Australian Open draw is scheduled to be held, figuring out the boys’s and girls’s singles brackets for the match.

Jan. 17, 2022: Play is scheduled to start at Melbourne Park.

The boys’s singles closing is Jan. 30.



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