January 10 Djokovic Australia visa hearing news

By Jessie Yeung, Hilary Whiteman, Helen Regan, Amy Woodyatt and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 0232 GMT (1032 HKT) January 11, 2022
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8:40 a.m. ET, January 10, 2022

A timeline of events

Serbian tennis fans celebrate at Collins Street as they wait for Djokovic to leave on January 10, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia.
Serbian tennis fans celebrate at Collins Street as they wait for Djokovic to leave on January 10, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Diego Fedele/Getty Images)

If you're just joining us, here's a recap of events that have led up to now.

According to Djokovic's affidavit:

  • October or November 2021: Djokovic files for an Australian temporary entry visa to compete in the Australian Open.
  • November 18: Djokovic is granted the visa.
  • December 16: Djokovic tests positive for Covid-19. That same day, he is photographed at three events, where none of the other participants are masked. The following day, he is also photographed at a youth awards event.
  • December 22: He tests negative for the virus.
  • December 30: He receives a medical exemption from Covid vaccination for entry from Tennis Australia, on the grounds that he had just recovered from Covid.
  • January 1: Djokovic's team submits his travel declaration to the Australian Ministry of Home Affairs, which notifies them that it has been assessed and he is cleared for quarantine-free arrival.
  • January 2: Djokovic receives a Border Travel Permit by the state government of Victoria, where Melbourne is located and where the tournament will take place.
  • January 4: Djokovic departs from Spain.
  • January 5: He arrives in Melbourne late at night, close to midnight. His passport is taken, and he is escorted to a small room where he is interviewed by border control officers.
  • January 6: His visa is canceled by the Australian government, and he is taken to a temporary detention facility at the Park Hotel in Melbourne.
  • January 10: His hearing commences, with the judge deciding to quash the cancelation of his visa and order his release from detention. Australia's immigration minister still has the power to cancel the visa, however, and is "currently considering the matter," according to a statement.

7:15 a.m. ET, January 10, 2022

Djokovic situation "a circus," says rival Nadal

From CNN's Aleks Klosok, Patrick Sung and Vasco Cotovio

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts on point during his men's singles match against Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania at the Melbourne Summer Set tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 6, 2022.
Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts on point during his men's singles match against Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania at the Melbourne Summer Set tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 6, 2022. (Mike Frey/AFP/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal has described the ongoing controversy with his rival Novak Djokovic as "a circus."

"Whether or not I agree with Djokovic on something, justice has spoken and has said he has the right to participate in the Australian Open and I think it is the fairest decision to do so," Nadal told Spanish radio station Onda Cero on Monday.

Nadal last week said that he feels "sorry" for Djokovic ahead of the Australian Open but added that his rival has long been aware of the vaccine requirement to play in the tournament.

Djokovic is tied with Nadal and Roger Federer on 20 grand slam titles.

Nadal joked Monday: "Well, on a personal level, I much prefer he doesn't play!"

“At the end of the day it’s sports, and there’s a lot of interests around sports, on a general level, on an economic level, on a publicity level and in that sense it’s always better when the best are playing, because it generates more interest,” he quickly added. “Egoistically speaking, for our sport it’s better when the best in the world are on the court competing than anywhere else.”

Virus has "changed our lives": Nadal said that despite the “circus” that had been created around Djokovic, that he had no doubt about the seriousness of Covid-19.

“There’s something that’s clear, for all the debate that there may be, which is that there are millions of deaths worldwide, because of a virus – this is a reality,” he said

“What I don’t have any doubt about is that this virus has changed all of our lives.”

Nadal added that when it came to health he sought to listen to those that knew more than he did.

“I know about tennis, less about other things,” he said.

“All the most important global institutions, governments, science say that the vaccine is the way to stop this pandemic and the disaster we have lived through for nearly 20 months and I try to follow their advice.”

“I don’t feel more intelligent or less intelligent for doing it,” he said, reiterating that he believed people should be afforded a choice, while adding that actions have consequences.

6:08 a.m. ET, January 10, 2022

Djokovic was not detained, says minister

From journalist Danielle Robertson in Melbourne

Novak Djokovic had not been detained in Australia, according to the office of immigration minister Alex Hawke.

6:11 a.m. ET, January 10, 2022

Australian immigration minister still considering canceling Djokovic's visa

From journalist Danielle Robertson in Melbourne

Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, October 20, 2021.
Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, October 20, 2021. (Mick Tsikas/AAP/Reuters)

Australia’s Minister of Immigration still has the power to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa to play in the Australian Open, following the success of the tennis player’s appeal against deportation earlier on Monday.

A spokesperson for the Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke, released a statement on Monday evening:

Following today’s Federal Circuit and Family Court determination on a procedural ground, it remains within Immigration Minister Hawke’s discretion to consider cancelling Mr Djokovic’s visa under his personal power of cancellation within section 133C(3) of the Migration Act.
The Minister is currently considering the matter and the process remains ongoing.”
6:05 a.m. ET, January 10, 2022

Djokovic family to hold news conference

Srdan Djokovic, father of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, attends a rally in front of Serbia's National Assembly in Belgrade, on January 6, 2022.
Srdan Djokovic, father of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, attends a rally in front of Serbia's National Assembly in Belgrade, on January 6, 2022. (Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic's family will hold a news conference in Serbian capital Belgrade at 12 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET), according to a statement posted by his father on Instagram.

5:13 a.m. ET, January 10, 2022

Nick Kyrgios has Covid-19

From CNN's Amy Woodyatt

Nick Kyrgios of Australia speaks to the media during Day 8 of the 2022 ATP Cup in Sydney on January 8.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia speaks to the media during Day 8 of the 2022 ATP Cup in Sydney on January 8. (Jeremy Ng/AFP/Getty Images)

Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios has tested positive for Covid-19, he confirmed in a post to his Instagram story on Monday.

"I just want to be open and transparent with everyone, the reason I have had to pull out of Sydney is because I tested positive for Covid," Kyrgios said on Instagram.

He said still wants to compete in the Australian Open.

I am feeling healthy at the moment with no symptoms. I wish everyone all the best and to stay safe where you can. If all goes well I will see you all at the Australian Open."

On Friday Kyrgios criticized the "really bad" treatment of Novak Djokovic.

"Look I definitely believe in taking action, I got vaccinated because of others and for my mums (sic) health, but how we are handling Novak's situation is bad, really bad," Kyrgios wrote on Twitter on Friday.

"Like these memes, headlines, this is one of our great champions but at the end of the day, he is human. Do better."

4:34 a.m. ET, January 10, 2022

Crowds outside offices of Djokovic's lawyers chanting "Free Novak"

Danielle Robertson/CNN
Danielle Robertson/CNN

Crowds have gathered in front of the offices of Djokovic's lawyers in Melbourne, with both protesters and members of the press in attendance.

Many among the crowd are Serbian Australians and supporters of the tennis player, waving Serbian flags and shouting messages of support. Videos from the ground show people playing music with drums and accordions, with chants of "Free Novak" in the background.

'They should let him out, they are dragging it too much," said 15-year-old Tamara Grmusa at the gathering. "We will never stop fighting for him."

Danielle Robertson/CNN
Danielle Robertson/CNN

7:03 a.m. ET, January 10, 2022

Djokovic says in affidavit he knew he had Covid day before being pictured at events unmasked

From CNN's Hannah Ritchie in Melbourne

Djokovic said he knew of his Covid-positive test result on December 16 in a sworn affidavit published by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia Monday.  

“On 16 December 2021, I was tested and diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID),” Djokovic’s affidavit read.  

Multiple images posted by the Novak Djokovic Foundation's social media accounts show Djokovic, who wasn't wearing a mask, participating in a panel discussion in front of an audience on the same day.

Djokovic and the participants were not wearing masks in the images. 

On December 17, the Belgrade Tennis Association's Facebook page then posted various photos of Djokovic posing with a group of young people at a tennis awards ceremony. 

One photo shows at least 26 mostly young people posing with him. Local Serbian media widely reported that Djokovic participated in the youth awards event.

On the same day, Djokovic later posted a photograph of himself with a plaque on his official Instagram account.

The headline of this post has been updated to reflect that Djokovic knew of his positive test one day before the December 17 event.

3:56 a.m. ET, January 10, 2022

A quick timeline of events

Documents released by the court on Monday after the verdict reveal the timeline that led to this event. According to Djokovic's affidavit:

  • October or November 2021: Djokovic files for an Australian temporary entry visa to compete in the Australian Open.
  • November 18: Djokovic is granted the visa.
  • December 16: Djokovic tests positive for Covid-19. That same day, he is photographed at three events, where none of the other participants are masked. The following day, he is also photographed at a youth awards event.
  • December 22: He tests negative for the virus.
  • December 30: He receives a medical exemption from Covid vaccination for entry from Tennis Australia, on the grounds that he had just recovered from Covid.
  • January 1: Djokovic's team submits his travel declaration to the Australian Ministry of Home Affairs, which notifies them that it has been assessed and he is cleared for quarantine-free arrival.
  • January 2: Djokovic receives a Border Travel Permit by the state government of Victoria, where Melbourne is located and where the tournament will take place.
  • January 4: Djokovic departs from Spain.
  • January 5: He arrives in Melbourne late at night, close to midnight. His passport is taken, and he is escorted to a small room where he is interviewed by border control officers.
  • January 6: His visa is canceled by the Australian government, and he is taken to a temporary detention facility at the Park Hotel in Melbourne.
  • January 10: His hearing commences, with the judge deciding to quash the cancelation of his visa and order his release from detention.