Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested that Novak Djokovic may have helped bring about his own downfall after the World No.1's visa was cancelled on Thursday.
The nine-time Australian Open champion could be deported later on Thursday after it was revealed he tried to enter the country without a valid medical exemption.
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The World No.1's visa was revoked by the federal government, damning his hopes of landing a record 21st grand slam title in Melbourne later this month.
That will now rest on a successful injunction by Djokovic to stop the deportation.
Djokovic has been transported from Tullamarine airport, where he was detained by border authorities after arriving late on Wednesday night, to a quarantine hotel in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Carlton.
He will remain there until his flight out of Australia is arranged, which could come as early as Thursday night, pending legal action.
Djokovic's first likely legal step is at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
The Prime Minister said entry to Australia required double vaccination or a medical exemption, which Djokovic did not have.
"People must be fully vaccinated as defined by ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) to gain quarantine-free entry into Australia.
"That means people who do not meet the definition will not be approved for quarantine-free entry.
"I am advised that such an exemption was not in place and as a result he is subject to the same rule as anyone else.
"This is nothing about any one individual, it is simply a matter of following the rules, and so those processes will take their course over the next few hours and that event will play out as it should."
Novak Djokovic 'not singled out'
When questioned by reporters on Thursday about whether Djokovic was treated differently to the small group of other tennis players granted exemptions for the Australian Open, Mr Morrison suggested the Serb's own actions may have been to blame.
Djokovic made headlines around the world on Tuesday night after triumphantly declaring on social media that he was on his way to Melbourne after being granted an "exemption permission".
“When you get people making public statements, of what they say they have and what they are going to do and what their claims are, they draw significant attention to themselves," Mr Morrison said.
“Anyone who does that – whether they are a celebrity, a politician, a tennis player, a journalist, whoever does that – they can expect to be asked questions more than others before you,” he said.
“That is how Border Force works. They are not singled out at all.”
Home affairs minister Karen Andrew says Border Force will now be examining reports other non-vaccinated players were allowed into Australia before Djokovic’s arrival.
“It may well be that everyone who has come into the country has the correct documentation,” she said on Sydney's 2GB radio station.
“If the evidence is not there then they will take the appropriate action.”
The move by the Australian government has threatened to cause a diplomatic incident between Canberra and Belgrade.
"I've just finished my telephone conversation with Novak Djokovic," Serbia president Aleksandar Vucic posted on Instagram.
"I told our Novak that the whole of Serbia is with him and that our bodies are doing everything to see that the harassment of the world's best tennis player is brought to an end immediately.
"In line with all norms of international law, Serbia will fight for Novak, truth and justice."
World No.1 halted after arriving in Melbourne
Djokovic had a vaccination exemption that allowed him to compete at the Australian Open but it didn't appear to satisfy border entry requirements.
The world's best men's player spent Wednesday night in a police-guarded room at Melbourne Airport after a 14-hour flight from Dubai.
Djokovic's entourage includes his coach, 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, who stated the obvious in a social media post after their arrival.
"Not the most usual trip from Down Under," he posted on Instagram with a selfie from an airport lounge, accompanied by face-palm and mind-blown emojis.
Never a stranger to controversy, the 34-year-old Djokovic became the subject of a major public backlash after revealing on Tuesday that he'd received an exemption.
Amid the storm, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley insisted Djokovic was getting no special treatment.
Australia's world No.1 Ash Barty said she understood the frustration in the community at the exemption decision.
"I think it's a tough one ... I know how hard it has been for Australians ... but in particular Victorians have had a real rough trot over the last 18 months and two years.
"I understand why they may be frustrated with the decision."
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