(CNN) – Australia will lift a three-year ban on the tennis player from entering the country Novak DjokovicWhich paves the way for the former world number one to participate in the 2023 Australian Open.
A source familiar with the matter told CNN on Tuesday that Australian Immigration Minister Andrew Giles will rescind the ban.
Djokovic has been asked to take a case with his immigration minister for permission to enter Australia to play in the tournament after he was deported earlier this year for failing to obtain a waiver of a covid-19 vaccine, which is mandatory at the time.
Giles will rule in Djokovic’s favor, the source said, but it is up to the individual to disclose any personal travel information.
Djokovic was He was deported from Australia In January after former Immigration Minister Alex Hook decided he posed a risk to public health and order because, as a celebrity athlete who had previously voiced opposition to vaccination, he could be seen as a “symbol” for anti-vaxxers.
The minister’s decision to expel the player means preventing him from returning for three years.
Earlier on Tuesday, Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley said he hopes Djokovic will play at the Australian Open in January next year.
“There is a normal visa application process that everyone goes through at the moment, and everyone will go through it in time,” Tilly told the Australian Associated Press (AAP).
I don’t think there should be preferential treatment for anyone. But I hope to have an answer for everyone when they need to book their flights and get in, including Novak.”
Djokovic Australian Open Drama
The Australian Open earlier this year was overshadowed by Djokovic’s high-profile visa story, pitting one of tennis’ biggest stars against the Australian government and dividing opinion in the country, which has imposed strict border controls over the pandemic.
The government revoked the Serb’s visa shortly after he arrived in Melbourne on January 5 because he had not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Djokovic said he was under the impression he was allowed into the country because two independent teams associated with Tennis Australia and the Victorian state government had granted him a waiver on the grounds that he had contracted the virus a few weeks before his arrival.
But the federal government argued that this was not a valid reason for an exemption under its rules.
A judge later ruled that border officers were “unreasonable” when they revoked Djokovic’s visa and ordered his release from immigration detention.
But his visa was revoked a second time and after losing his bid to appeal the decision, the tennis star left Australia soon after.
Although he returned to play in select tournaments after the ordeal, the player’s stance on getting vaccinated against COVID-19 limited his participation in other tournaments.
In July, Djokovic won his 21st Grand Slam title, by defeating Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final.
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