Australian Open draw to be unveiled as officials probe Novak Djokovic case

Novak Djokovic's fate is set to be decided by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke (inset). Pictures: Getty Images, Sitthixay Ditthavong
Novak Djokovic's fate is set to be decided by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke (inset). Pictures: Getty Images, Sitthixay Ditthavong

Novak Djokovic's immediate future in Australia remains up in the air , with Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirming no decision has been made on the tennis superstar's visa.

Djokovic's hopes of competing for a 21st grand slam title sit on a knife's edge as Immigration Minister Alex Hawke weighs up whether to use his personal power to recancel's the Serbian's visa.

Mr Hawke held off on making a decision on Wednesday, but was expected to make a call on Thursday.

However, Mr Morrison confirmed no decision had been when he fronted reporters at 3.45pm at Parliament House, following a meeting of the national cabinet.

Given the power to cancel a visa rests with the Immigration Minister, it would be expected that Mr Hawke would make the announcement.

"These are personal ministerial powers able to be exercised by Mr Hawke, and I don't propose to make any further comment at this time," the Prime Minister said.

The comments came after the draw for the Australian Open, which was scheduled to start at 3pm, was suddenly delayed without explanation.

The ceremony has since commenced, with Djokovic - the men's tournament's No. 1 seed - drawn to play fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round. The tournament starts on Monday.

There is an expectation Djokovic would appeal any visa cancellation decision, meaning the saga could drag on into next week.

In a further development, Djokovic is now reportedly being investigated by Spanish authorities over a possible breach of its travel rules.

The world No. 1 won a legal fight earlier this week to quash the government's original decision to cancel his visa.

Djokovic won the case on procedural fairness grounds, with the judge delivering no formal verdict on the legitimacy of the Serbian's medical exemption to enter the country unvaccinated against COVID-19.

Mr Hawke has the power under the Migration Act to cancel a visa if he is satisfied that it is in the "public interest" to do so.

The imminent announcement comes after Djokovic made a series of public concessions about his role in the saga, elements of which are understood to now be under investigation by Australian authorities.

In a lengthy social media post on Thursday afternoon, the 34-year-old admitted to making a false declaration on his travel documents and attending a face-to-face interview and photoshoot with a French newspaper after testing positive to COVID-19.

Serbia's Prime Minister Ana Brnabic told the BBC that a failure to isolate after a positive test was a breach of her country's COVID rules.

Djokovic blamed "human error" for his team declaring the Serbian star had not travelled in the two weeks before he flew from Spain to Australia in early January.


The concession came after photos emerged of Djokovic in the Serbian capital Belgrade on Christmas Day, proving he had travelled inside the 14-day window.

Djokovic also claimed he hadn't attended a children's tennis event while knowingly infected with COVID-19 on December 17 last year, as he was only "notified" of the positive result after returning from the awards presentation.

Djokovic took the PCR test which returned the positive result on December 16, according to his court filings.

The positive recent infection was the grounds upon which Djokovic received an exemption from Tennis Australian and the Victorian government to compete in the tournament unvaccinated.

Djokovic's statement that he wasn't aware he was infected on December 17 appears to be in conflict with his sworn affidavit published by the Federal Circuit Court.

Under advice published by the Serbian foreign ministry, unvaccinated tourists are not allowed to enter Spain.

The advice suggests that unvaccinated citizens can travel for "essential" reasons, but first need to contact the Serbian embassy and receive approval from Spain.

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This story No decision on Djokovic visa: PM Morrison first appeared on The Canberra Times.