Novak Djokovic’s chances of returning to the Australian Open are said to have increased, with the country’s new prime minister, Anthony Albanese, being a keen tennis fan, not wanting to see the year’s opening primary without the nine-time Melbourne Champion, according to The Daily Mail. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said Friday that he had used his ministerial discretion to cancel his visa based on a matter of public interest only three days before play begins at the Australian Open, where Novak Djokovic has won a record nine of 20 grand slam titles. Djokovic was granted a medical waiver from Tennis Australia to compete in the 2022 Australian Open. Still, The Age reported that he had failed to provide sufficient evidence to Border Force to qualify for the waiver.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke could allow Novak Djokovic to remain in Down Under for the Australian Open, cancel his visa again and prohibit the star from coming to Australia for three years, or cancel his visa but not issue the three-year ban. Asked if Novak Djokovic should be banned from entering Australia for the next three years following his deportation from the country, Labor senator Christine Kenneally said relevant factors to consider would include whether he had received vaccinations during that time and if any changes to medical advice during that period. Novak Djokovic was refused a visa to enter Down Under by an Australian Border Force officer on 6 January, but the Federal Circuit Court reversed the decision. Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed Novak Djokovic failed to meet the relevant standards of evidence and was refused entry into Australia.

Australia‘s stated applications for these reasons were not the government’s requirement in Victoria state for all players, staff, fans, and officials to have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to compete at the Australian Open, saying the exemptions were to gain entry at Melbourne Park, and not at the border. Australia has recently relaxed some COVID-19 security measures in Australia, with non-vaccinated individuals now allowed into the country.

Novak Djokovic risks missing more than a single Australian Open event if he cannot have his visa revoked and is deported because he does not have sufficient evidence supporting his medical exemption from Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rules. He may be barred from entering Australia for up to three years. Novak Djokovic is facing re-expulsion after Australia’s government cancelled his visa a second time, the latest turn in an ongoing saga about whether the world’s number one tennis player would be allowed to play at the Australian Open despite being unvaccinated for COVID-19.