'Pathetic': Novak Djokovic named in draw after 'absurd' Aus Open mystery

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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  • Novak Djokovic
    Novak Djokovic
    Serbian tennis player
Novak Djokovic (pictured left) during training at the Australian Open and (pictured right) Prime Minister Scott Morrison talking.
Novak Djokovic (pictured left) was included in the Australian Open draw after Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured right) did not confirm a decision had been made about the World No.1's potential deportation in a presser on Thursday. (Images: Getty Images/Twitter)

The tennis world was left perplexed after expecting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to announce the fate of World No.1 Novak Djokovic following his visa debacle in his presser, only to be let down.

At 2.58pm on Thursday, the Australian Open made the sensational decision to delay the draw with no reason given.

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Not long after, it was announced Prime Minister Morrison would be making an announcement at 3.45pm.

This sparked speculation that Minster Alex Hawke had made his decision on whether or not to use his discretionary powers to deport Djokovic.

However, after talking about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic gripping Australia, Morrison made it clear there would be no decision on Djokovic at the presser.

This sparked an outpouring of frustration from the tennis world at home and abroad with many fans around the world tuning into the presser.

A reporter did ask the question at the end of the presser on whether the government still regarded unvaccinated non-citizens and non-residents a threat to public health and if so should a person keep an Australian visa if they were allowed in?

Morrison briefly entertained the question, while not mentioning Djokovic specifically.

The prime minister said since December 15 fully vaccinated eligible visa holders could travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption and enter those states allowing them to enter quarantine free.

Novak Djokovic (pictured) takes part in a practice session ahead of the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) takes part in a practice session ahead of the Australian Open. (Photo by MIKE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)

These individuals have to show they are double vaccinated or must provide acceptable proof that they can't be vaccinated for medical reasons.

"That's the policy which hasn't changed. That is the policy and we would expect authorities to be implementing the policy of the government when it comes to those matters. That relates to people who are coming to Australia," Morrison said.

"If you're not a citizen or resident, the health rules we have in place to protect our borders and our border protection policies have been central to the government's achievements."

Novak Djokovic named in Aus Open draw

While there was no mention of Djokovic's deportation status, the World No.1 was named in the Aus Open draw.

Bidding for a men's record 21 grand slam titles and a ninth Aus Open title, Djokovic was drawn against fellow Serb World No.78 Miomir Kecmanovic.

Djokovic's inclusion in the draw could become controversial if Minister Hawke does decide to use ministerial powers and deport the World No.1.

The UK Telegraph writer Oliver Brown said it was an 'absurd state of affairs' Djokovic's participation status is still in doubt.

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