Tennis star Novak Djokovic has left Australia on an Emirates flight to Dubai. Earlier Sunday, judges in Australia dismissed Djokovic's challenge to overturn the cancellation of his visa for a second time.
The departure brings to an end a days-long drama revolving around whether or not the Serb, who is not vaccinated against Covid-19, could be admitted into the country under a medical exemption to compete in the Australian Open.
If you're just reading in now, here are this story's latest headlines:
- Djokovic flies out of Australia, ending his Australian Open ambitions: Djokovic has left Australia on an Emirates flight to Dubai, hours after he lost a legal challenge against a decision to revoke his visa. The world No. 1 had been scheduled to play Monday night in the Australian Open, where he had hoped to ultimately win a record-breaking 21st men's grand slam title. Djokovic, as well as Switzerland's Roger Federer and Spain's Rafael Nadal, are all currently tied with 20 grand slam titles. Nadal, seeded 6th, will be participating in the Australian Open, though Federer will not.
- Djokovic confirms he is leaving: "I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open." In a statement released after his appeal was dismissed on Sunday, Novak Djokovic said he would cooperate with authorities in arranging his departure from the country and confirmed he would not be playing in the Australian Open. He said that while he was "extremely disappointed" in the judge's decision, "I respect the Court’s ruling and I'll cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from Australia."
- ATP says Djokovic's absence from the Australian Open "is a loss for the game," wishes him well: The ATP described the decision to uphold the cancellation of Novak Djokovic's visa as "the end of a deeply regrettable series of events" and said his absence from the Australian Open is "a loss for the game." The organization's statement said: "Ultimately, decisions of legal authorities regarding matters of public health must be respected."
- Djokovic replaced in Australian Open draw: The organizers of the Australian Open have now replaced top seed Novak Djokovic following his failed attempt to halt his deportation from Australia. The new order of play inserts Salvatore Caruso in place of Djokovic. The Italian will face Serbian player Miomir Kecmanović.
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison: Now it's time to "get on with the Australian Open": Australian PM Morrison welcomed the federal court's decision to dismiss Novak Djokovic's appeal on Sunday, saying in a statement that the cancelation decision "was made on health, safety and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so." He added, "I welcome the decision to keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe."