Novak Djokovic will not be playing at the Australian Open this month after Australian judges ruled in favor of the government upholding the decision to cancel his visa and deport him from the country.
Djokovic had been looking to start the tennis season off on a good note with his 21st major championship but will have to watch from home as the tournament goes on without him.
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The Serbian tennis star will also be missing out on a potential big payday should he have won the Australian Open.
The winner of the men’s singles tournament will receive about $2.1 million.
Djokovic was coming into the tournament with three consecutive Australian Open wins and nine total before the visa scandal kept him holed up a Melbourne hotel and eventually got him kicked out of the country.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC LEAVES AUSTRALIA ‘EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED,’ ‘UNCOMFORTABLE’ WITH AUSTRALIAN OPEN FOCUS
Djokovic was unvaccinated against the coronavirus but had received a medical exemption to compete in the tournament, based on a previous coronavirus infection. He was detained once he entered the country as border officials claimed his exemption wasn’t valid – sparking the 10-day drama.
Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” by the court’s ruling Sunday and added he was “uncomfortable” with the amount of attention he received over the issue.
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“I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love,” he said. “I will now be taking some time to rest and to recuperate, before making any further comments beyond this.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.