Novak Djokovic is set to be deported from Australia after losing a last-ditch court bid to stay in the country, the BBC reports.
Judges rejected his challenge to the government’s decision to cancel the unvaccinated player’s visa on “health and good order” grounds.
The world number one’s hopes of defending his Australian Open title and winning a record 21st Grand Slam in Melbourne are over.
Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” but accepted the ruling.
“I will co-operate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country,” he said in a statement. It was not immediately clear when he would leave.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed “the decision to keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe”.
“Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected,” he said.
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It was the second time his visa had been revoked, after a first cancellation over not following Covid entry rules was overturned by a different judge.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic lashed out at Australian authorities Sunday morning, hours after a federal court paved the way for the deportation of Novak Djokovic on the eve of the Australian Open over his vaccine status, according to AFP.