Jan. 16 (UPI) — Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic was deported Sunday after losing an 11th-hour bid in an Australian federal court to save his chances to compete in the Australian Open after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Australian federal court unanimously found that Immigration Minister Alex Hawke was within his legal rights to cancel Djokovic’s visa for the second time Friday on the grounds that the tennis star’s views on vaccines posed a risk to the public health and “good order” of the country.
Djokovic has won nine Australian Open titles, including the past three, and was seeking a record 21st Grand Slam title. He is tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
After the hearing, Djokovic issued a statement expressing that he was “deeply disappointed” by the court’s decision, and he was later deported from the country on an Emirates flight to Dubai, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.