World No. 1 Novak Djokovic Deported from Australia, Fails to Defend Title

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic Deported from Australia, Fails to Defend Title

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic left Australia on Sunday evening after losing his final bid to avoid deportation and play in the Australian Open despite being unvaccinated for COVID-19. A court earlier unanimously dismissed the No. 1-ranked tennis player’s challenge to cancel his visa.



Djokovic, a 34-year-old from Serbia, said he was “extremely disappointed” by the ruling but respected it.

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A masked Djokovic was photographed in a Melbourne airport lounge with two government officials in black uniforms. He left on an Emirates flight to Dubai, the same United Arab Emirates city he flew to Australia from.

He has won a record nine Australian Open titles, including three in a row, but this time won’t even get the chance to try.

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“I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country,” he said in a statement.

Djokovic said he was “uncomfortable” that the focus had been on him since his visa was first canceled on arrival at Mebourne’s airport on Jan. 6.

“I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love,” he said.

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