Djokovic fighting to compete at Australian Open after visa is cancelled

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Novak Djokovic was left fighting for the right to compete at the Australian Open on Wednesday after authorities cancelled his visa.

The world number one announced on Tuesday that he had received a medical exemption to play in the tournament he has won a record nine times.

That medical exemption was expected to allow Djokovic to enter the country, regardless of his vaccination status, which he has yet to formally disclose.

However, the Victorian government reportedly rejected an application as a member of Djokovic's support team made an error in requesting a sub-class of visa.

Further doubt was cast over Djokovic's chances of being allowed to contest the first grand slam of the year when Jaala Pulford, the acting sports minister of the state of Victoria, later declared on social media that the Serbian's application will not be supported.

It was later announced by the Australian Border Force (ABF) he had been ordered to fly out of the country on Thursday, although his legal team was said to be challenging the decision.

"The ABF can confirm that Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled," the force said.

"Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia.

"The ABF can confirm Mr Djokovic had access to his phone.​"

Djokovic's father had earlier accused authorities of holding the 20-time major winner "captive for five hours".

He told Russian news agency Sputnik: "This is a fight for the libertarian world, not just a fight for Novak, but a fight for the whole world.

"If they don't let him go in half an hour, we will gather on the street. This is a fight for everyone."

Later, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted: "Mr Djokovic's visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders.

"No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant."

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