Djokovic to be Granted Visa for Australian Open

After being deported in January due to his unvaccinated status, Australia will reportedly overturn tennis star Novak Djokovic's three-year ban and grant him a new visa to play in the 2023 Australian Open.

Djokovic to be Granted Visa for Australian Open
Image credit: Getty Images [via Bleacher Report]

Facts

  • After being deported in January due to his unvaccinated status, Australia will reportedly overturn tennis star Novak Djokovic's three-year ban and grant him a new visa to play in the 2023 Australian Open.
  • After winning the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy Monday night, the Serbian tennis champion told reporters that his team is "communicating with the government of Australia,” with Australian Open director Craig Tiley also alluding to Djokovic's return.
  • In January, Djokovic spent 11 days in Australia believing that the immunity from his previous COVID infection would allow him to stay in the country. However, he was deported after a court upheld then-Immigration Minister Alex Hawke's decision to cancel his visa.
  • Australia has since had a change in administration and, starting from July 6 of this year, incoming travelers are no longer required to show proof of vaccination. Under new immigration guidelines, travelers previously denied entry must show that there are "compassionate or compelling circumstances" to have their re-entry ban dismissed and a visa granted.
  • The nine-time Australian Open champion also didn't play at this year's US Open due to rules surrounding unvaccinated non-citizens, though he did win his seventh Wimbledon title in England in July.
  • Though Open director Tiley said he doesn't believe "there should be any preferential treatment for anyone," if granted a visa, Djokovic will have an opportunity to claim his record-tying 22nd major championship and 10th Australian Open title, which is scheduled to begin on Jan. 16.

Sources: Bleacher Report, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ESPN, and Washington Post.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Tennis Buzz. Djokovic has been too nice to the Australian government after they treated him like a pariah. Although it will be great to see one of the world's greatest players back on the court, Australia should forever feel ashamed for detaining him like a criminal simply for exercising his right to bodily autonomy.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by The Atlantic. At the time, Djokovic was treated appropriately by the Australian government given the pandemic circumstances and his actions. Not only was the government enforcing its clearly-stated vaccination rules, but Djokovic was caught lying about having visited other countries before arriving. Times are different now, but no one should feel sorry about the past.