Tennis star Novak Djokovic won a court battle Monday to stay in Australia to contest the Australian Open despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19, but the drama might not be finished, with the government threatening to cancel his visa a second time and deport him.
Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly reinstated Djokovic's visa, which was revoked after his arrival last week because officials decided he didn't meet the criteria for an exemption to an entry requirement that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated.
The judge ruled the No. 1 player had not been given enough time to speak to his lawyers before that decision was made and ordered the government to release him within 30 minutes from a Melbourne quarantine hotel where he has spent the last four nights.
But government lawyer Christopher Tran told the judge that the immigration minister "will consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation."
The office of Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews confirmed that Novak Djokovic has not been arrested. It was not clear where he was, though hundreds of fans gathered late Monday outside his lawyers' office in Melbourne, many carrying Serbian flags and wearing the banner's red, white and blue colors. They chanted "Free Nole," using the star's nickname. Police later dispersed them when they surrounded a car trying to leave the area.
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