Skip to content
Opinion
Therese Raphael

Did Novak Djokovic Really Pose a Health Risk in Australia?

The saga of the world’s number one tennis player’s visa should highlight limits on the use of draconian border controls at this stage of the pandemic. 

Novak Djokovic of Serbia attends a practice session ahead of the Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia attends a practice session ahead of the Australian Open.

Photographer: Martin Keep/AFP

Updated on

Novak Djokovic knows how to pull off wins from tight positions. He has often been known to take a lengthy bathroom break before storming to victory. Not this time. 

On Sunday, a federal court in Australia upheld the government’s decision to revoke Djokovic’s visa, ending a 10-day saga that saw him enter the country on a medical exemption from vaccination rules granted by the local state government, then be detained for violating federal visa rules and then released after a court ruled that border guards had not followed proper procedure.