Novak Djokovic could be inspired to Australian Open title following visa saga, says Andrew Castle | Tennis News

Novak Djokovic won an appeal against a decision to deny him a visa on Monday at the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, apparently allowing him to compete in the Australian Open from January 17 despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Last updated: 01/10/22 19:18

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Andrew Castle criticized the Australian government for treating Novak Djokovic following his successful appeal to stay in the country.

Andrew Castle criticized the Australian government for treating Novak Djokovic following his successful appeal to stay in the country.

Novak Djokovic may be inspired by winning the Australian Open after winning an appeal against the decision to deny him a visa to enter the country, according to former British No.1 Andrew Castle.

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia on Monday overturned the government’s decision to deny Djokovic a visa upon his arrival in Melbourne on Wednesday, after which the world No. 1 spent four nights in an immigrant detention hotel.

Following his release on Monday, nine-time Australian Open record winner Djokovic announced his intention to defend his title at the first Grand Slam of the year, which kicks off next week.

Asked about Djokovic’s prospects of winning the tournament, Castle said Sky Sports News: “I wouldn’t be surprised.

Djokovic supporters celebrated outside court as Australian judge restored world number 1 visa ahead of Australian Open

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Djokovic supporters celebrated outside court as Australian judge restored world number 1 visa ahead of Australian Open

Djokovic supporters celebrated outside court as Australian judge restored world number 1 visa ahead of Australian Open

“He’s such a stubborn and hardworking guy on the pitch, if he gets this exemption and the Australian government doesn’t replace the pitch, I’d say he’ll pick him up and play.

“If he gets through two, three, four rounds and gets into the tournament – we know how good he is – I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him in the second week of this Grand Slam, again, because he’s so stubborn and so good.

“When the time comes, and the bell rings, he will be ready to compete. Sometimes Novak can be even better when everyone is against him than when everyone is for him.”

Following Monday’s verdict, Djokovic tweeted to say he would “stay focused” on the competition in front of Australian “awesome fans”, but Castle warned that the 34-year-old can expect a hostile atmosphere from viewers at the start of the tournament.

“When it comes to the reaction of the crowd, I suspect they will boo him openly when he comes out on the pitch and I think the whole thing will turn into a massive pantomime,” Castle said.

“But let’s not make mistakes, Covid is not to be fooled, Omicron is not to be fooled, but Australians, many of them, are absolutely terrified. Over there they are undergoing a huge wave and this is a man who, waving his medical exemption around, he said “I’m coming down”.

“He wasn’t subtle, he was deaf and it was a PR disaster for him, which ignited the whole debate and, who knows, may have influenced government action as well.

“He can stand up on his own. But he can expect a harsh reaction.”

Novak Djokovic – Sequence of events

January 4 – Djokovic announces he will travel to Australia with a “permit of exemption”.
January 5 – While Djokovic is in flight, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the athlete will be on the “next plane home” if he is unable to provide “acceptable evidence” that his exemption is legitimate.
Acting Sports Minister Jaala Pulford points out that the local government of Victoria, where the Australian Open is held, will not support Djokovic’s visa application.
The number 1 in the world arrives at Melbourne Airport around 11:30 pm local time.
January 6 – At around 3:15 am, Djokovic’s father reports that his son is being held in solitary confinement at Melbourne Airport.
At 5am, Goran Ivanisevic posts an image on social media of himself and another member of Djokovic’s team who appear to be waiting for the world number 1. The post is titled “Not the most usual Down Under trip”.
At around 8:15 am local time, it is confirmed that Djokovic’s visa has been denied by the Australian Border Force.
Djokovic is transferred to a quarantine hotel as his legal team appeals for visa cancellation.
The appeal against his visa cancellation is adjourned for Monday morning (January 10) Australian time.
7 January – Australian Interior Minister Karen Andrews says Djokovic is “free to leave at any time” and is not detained.
Djokovic breaks the silence in the Instagram post on Friday, thanking his fans for their “continued support”.
January 8 – The presentation of Djokovic’s lawyers on Saturday reveals the positivity of the Covid-19 test in December.
January 9 – Interior Minister Andrews has a request to postpone the hearing until Wednesday (January 12) rejected by Judge Anthony Kelly.
The Australian government lawyers’ presentation states that Djokovic had not been given any assurance that he would be allowed to enter the country with his medical exemption.
January 10 – Djokovic wins on appeal. Judge Anthony Kelly cancels the visa cancellation and orders the Australian government to pay legal fees and release Djokovic from detention.
Djokovic takes to social media to confirm that he remains intent on competing in the Australian Open.

Questions remain about where he is on December 16

Djokovic's brother Djordje abruptly interrupted the press conference after being asked about the movements of the world's number 1 during the time he tested positive for Covid

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Djokovic’s brother Djordje abruptly interrupted the press conference after being asked about the movements of the world’s number 1 during the time he tested positive for Covid

Djokovic’s brother Djordje abruptly interrupted the press conference after being asked about the movements of the world’s number 1 during the time he tested positive for Covid

There is still confusion about Djokovic’s movements around December 16, the date on which he tested positive at Covid.

Djokovic attended an event on December 16 at the Belgrade headquarters of the Serbian National Post Office, which honored him and his career by issuing a series of stamps.

Djokovic posted photos from the event – in which he is seen without a mask – on his Twitter account on December 17.

It is unclear if Djokovic knew he had Covid when he attended the event.

Asked where he was around December 16, his brother Djordje Djokovic said in a press conference on Monday: “The trial was public and all documents are public and legal.”

When asked again by another reporter, he said, “OK, so this press conference is up to date at the moment, thanks for your attention,” before abruptly ending the conference, which sparked applause.

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