MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic held a practice session on Tuesday, a day after he left immigration detention, focusing on defending his Australian Open title even while he still faces the prospect of deportation because he's not vaccinated against COVID-19.
The top-ranked tennis star hit the show courts of Melbourne Park, where the tournament is held, within hours of winning a legal battle that allowed him to stay in the country.
At issue is whether he has a valid exemption to rules requiring vaccination to enter Australia since he recently recovered from COVID-19. A judge ruled Monday he could stay, but the immigration minister could still send him home.
There were also new questions raised Tuesday over an immigration form, on which he said he had not traveled in the 14 days before his flight to Australia. The Monte Carlo-based athlete was seen in Spain and Serbia in that two-week period.
back and forth over whether Djokovic complied with Australia's rules has caused a furor in the country and beyond. When the vocal skeptic of vaccines was first granted a visa to travel to Melbourne, many complained he was being given special treatment from a country known for its strict travel restrictions during the pandemic.