Tennis star leaves Australia due to vaccine mandate

January 17, 2022

I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country.

The world’s top tennis player, Novak Djokovic, on being deported from Australia and unable to play in the Australian Open due to a vaccine mandate.
  • Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, asked for an exemption to come to Australia to play in the Australian Open (a top competition he has won several times).
  • Djokovic tested positive for the virus in mid-December.
  • There’s been some confusion on whether Djokovic did have an exemption to enter Australia with proof of prior infection and play in the tournament. However, the Australian foreign minister rejected his visa and a court upheld that decision.
  • Australia has strict COVID-19 policies.

Why It Matters: This isn’t just about the Australian Open but sports events in general, as countries try to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. France announced a new policy requiring proof of vaccination for sports events, indoor dining and beyond; previously, a person could alternatively show proof of prior infection. This raises questions about future competition at the French Open for Djokovic, and underscores how vaccination status will continue to be an issue for some athletes.

Djokovic lands in Serbia after deportation from Australia

by Jenna Lee,