Tennis – Lawyer: Djokovic has chances to enter Australia

MELBOURNE (AFP) – Tennis star Novak Djokovic may stand a good chance at the Australian Open despite being banned from entering, according to an expert.

“There is no risk factor in allowing him to return,” immigration attorney Kun Ming Cai told The Associated Press. In his opinion, the entry of the 21-time Grand Slam winner is “in the interest of Australia”: “It will not be a problem for society. He is one of the best tennis players in the world and will be able to attract a lot of foreign visitors.”

Tsai said Djokovic has a good chance of success if he applies for a visa. All he has to do is write to the Australian border authorities, explaining his unusual circumstances and asking for the return ban to be lifted. According to the Australian Border Protection Agency, entry bans can be lifted under certain circumstances, and each case will be examined on a case-by-case basis.

Tennis star with three-year entry ban

The 35-year-old wants to kick off the Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne next January, tournament director Craig Tiley announced on Wednesday. It is up to the Serbs themselves to clarify the “situation” with the government. Djokovic, who has not been vaccinated against Covid-19, was forced to leave Australia after entering the Australian Open in January this year following a legal dispute. He was also banned from entering the country for three years.

The criticism over the possible special treatment of the nine-time tournament winner came from opposition politician Karen Andrews, who was Djokovic’s interior minister at the time of his deportation. “It would be a slap in the face for the people of Australia if Novak Djokovic were suddenly allowed back into the country just because he’s a number one tennis player,” Andrews told ABC Radio.

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In addition to the Australian Open, Djokovic also missed the US Open in August of this year because he was not allowed to enter the United States without a vaccination. The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, will be held in Melbourne from January 16-29.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 221013-99-110106 / 2

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