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Novak Djokovic arrives in Dubai after deportation from Australia

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Novak Djokovic arrived early Monday in Dubai after his deportation from Australia over its required COVID-19 vaccination ended the No. 1-ranked males’s tennis participant’s hopes of defending his Australian Open title.

The Emirates aircraft carrying Djokovic touched down after a 13 1/2-hour flight from Melbourne, the place he had argued in courtroom he needs to be allowed to remain within the nation and compete within the event beneath a medical exemption resulting from a coronavirus an infection final month.

It wasn’t instantly clear the place he deliberate to journey subsequent. The Dubai Obligation Free tennis event, which Djokovic received in 2020, would not begin till Feb. 14.

Dubai, the industrial capital of the United Arab Emirates, would not require vacationers to be vaccinated, although they have to present a destructive PCR take a look at to board a flight.

Djokovic had received 9 Australian Open titles, together with three in a row, and a complete of 20 Grand Slam singles trophies, tied with rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for probably the most within the historical past of males’s tennis. Federer isn’t taking part in whereas recovering from damage, and Nadal is the one former Australian Open males’s champion within the event that started Monday.

Djokovic’s visa was initially canceled on Jan. 6 by a border official who determined he did not qualify for a medical exemption from Australia’s guidelines for unvaccinated guests. He was exempted from the event’s vaccine guidelines as a result of he had been contaminated with the virus throughout the earlier six months.

He received an attraction to remain for the event, however Australia’s immigration minister later revoked his visa. Three Federal Courtroom judges determined unanimously Sunday to affirm the immigration minister’s proper to cancel Djokovic’s visa.

Vaccination amid the pandemic was a requirement for anybody on the Australian Open, whether or not gamers, their coaches or anybody on the event web site. Greater than 95% of all Prime 100 women and men of their excursions’ respective rankings are vaccinated. At the least two males — American Tennys Sandgren and Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert — skipped the primary main event of the 12 months as a result of vaccine requirement.

Djokovic’s try and get the medical exemption for not being vaccinated sparked anger in Australia, the place strict lockdowns in cities and curbs on worldwide journey have been employed to attempt to management the unfold of the coronavirus because the pandemic started.

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