Novak Djokovic is set to be deported from Australia after losing a last-ditch court bid to stay in the country.
Judges rejected the tennis star’s appeal after the government cancelled the unvaccinated player’s visa on public health grounds.
The decision has ended his hopes of defending his Australian Open title and winning a record 21st Grand Slam.
Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” but respected the ruling, made on the eve of his first match.
“I will co-operate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country,” he said in a statement.
His supporters fell silent outside the courtroom as the decision was announced.
Djokovic launched the case after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his ministerial powers to cancel the Serbian player’s visa, arguing that his presence in the country risked fanning anti-vaccine sentiment.
It was the second time his visa had been revoked, after a first cancellation over not following Covid entry rules was overturned by a different judge.
During Sunday’s court hearing before a three-judge panel, Djokovic’s defence unsuccessfully argued that the grounds given by the government were “invalid and illogical”.
Chief Justice James Allsop said the federal court’s ruling on Sunday was based on the lawfulness and legality of the minister’s decision, not on the “merits or wisdom of that decision”.
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