ANKARA – Nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic may not defend his title in 2022 as the Serbian top seed's visa has been canceled by Australia for failing to meet the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) entry requirements on Thursday.
“The ABF can confirm that Mr. Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently canceled,” the Australian Border Force said in a statement.
“Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa canceled will be detained and removed from Australia,” it added.
After he landed at Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport, Djokovic was quizzed by Border Force about his visa status.
Meanwhile, the Australian premier also confirmed the visa revocation of Djokovic.
“Mr. Djokovic’s visa has been canceled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from Covid, we are continuing to be vigilant,” Scott Morrison said on Twitter.
Djokovic, 34, is still refusing to reveal whether he is vaccinated against coronavirus.
On Tuesday, Djokovic said on Instagram that he was granted a medical exemption from having a coronavirus vaccination to take place at the Australian Open.
“I've spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I'm heading down under with an exemption permission,” World No. 1 tennis player previously said on social media.
Australian Open chief Craig Tiley previously said all participants, including players at the tournament, should be vaccinated against coronavirus or receive a medical exemption from an independent panel of experts.
The 2022 Australian Open – the first Grand Slam of the year – will be held between January 17 and 30 in Melbourne.
Djokovic won the Australian Open in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, and 2021. (Anadolu)