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Australian judge offers glimmer of hope to Novak Djokovic as he fights deportation

|NDTV|


An Australian judge demanded Monday to know what more Novak Djokovic could have done to meet the country's strict pandemic entry requirements, offering a glimmer of hope to the detained tennis superstar as he fights deportation. The 34-year-old world number one arrived in Melbourne last week ahead of the Australian Open, hoping to win a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title. But guards at Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport decided the unvaccinated star had failed to present a solid medical reason for not being jabbed.

Djokovic's visa was revoked and he was moved to a notorious immigration detention facility pending deportation.

In an emergency online court hearing Monday, federal Judge Anthony Kelly listened to extended legal wrangling about the process, before jumping to the 34-year-old's defence.

Declaring himself "somewhat agitated", Kelly said Djokovic had provided evidence from "a professor and an eminently qualified physician" about a medical exemption.

"What more could this man have done?" the judge demanded.

Proceedings were repeatedly delayed as the court's online system crashed under a surge of worldwide interest.

Anti-vaccine activists shared a link to the livestream and defied a court order by broadcasting proceedings live on YouTube.

Eventually, the judge pressed ahead without a public livestream, and Djokovic's team of top-flight lawyers made his case.



(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)