Australian Open: Court decision pending with Djokovic scheduled to play on Monday

By Sports Desk January 16, 2022

Novak Djokovic's participation in the 2022 Australian Open hangs in the balance with the judges at Sunday's court hearing considering their decision with no exact timeframe on a final call.

Djokovic, who returned to detention on Saturday as per a pre-agreed court arrangement, is fighting to be able to compete at the Australian Open, which starts on Monday.

A Federal Court of Australia procedural hearing was held on Sunday, where lawyers representing Djokovic and Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke presented their cases after the Serbian's visa was cancelled on Friday.

After several hours with both sides arguing their case, chief Justice James Allsop adjourned and said the court may reconvene "this afternoon or perhaps tomorrow morning".

The Australian Open announced Monday's schedule on Sunday afternoon, with Djokovic's first-round match against Miomir Kecmanovic listed as the second in the night session (from 7pm AEDT) on centre court.

At the Sunday hearing, the Immigration Minister's submissions on why Djokovic's visa was cancelled were detailed, pointing to the argument that his presence in Australia may foster sentiment against coronavirus vaccinations.

Djokovic's lawyers argued against the submission, slamming the Minister as "plainly wrong" for assumptions that he was perceived as an anti-vax figurehead and claiming they misrepresented his views on vaccines based on media reports.

Instead, they argued deporting Djokovic could stir up more anti-vaccination sentiment than letting him stay and insisted the Minister did not have enough evidence to make the counter judgement.

The Minister's lawyers reiterated the view that Djokovic's presence would inflame anti-vaccination sentiment and argued that Hawke had considered the outcomes from both decisions.

Mr Stephen Lloyd, representing the Minister, said: "The minister took the view that his presence in Australia could encourage people to emulate [disregard for the rules]."

Mr Lloyd pointed to recent images of Djokovic posing for photos in Serbia after testing positive to COVID-19 last month, when he added: "The applicant has some recent history of ignoring COVID safety measures. Even when he was infected he undertook an interview and a photoshoot including taking his mask off."

Related items

  • Ruud sets up Geneva semi-final with Opelka, Norrie advances in Lyon Ruud sets up Geneva semi-final with Opelka, Norrie advances in Lyon

    Casper Rudd set up a semi-final clash with Reilly Opelka by claiming a straight-sets win over Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Geneva Open, while Cameron Norrie made his third semi-final of 2022 at the Lyon Open.

    World number eight Rudd, who claimed the title in Geneva last year with a straight-sets final win over Denis Shapovalov, overcame Kokkinakis 6-4 7-6 (7-3) on Thursday and will now face Opelka.

    The American bounced back from losing the second set against Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor to claim a 6-4 3-6 6-3 win as he bids for his third title of 2022, and second seed Ruud said he was excited to pit himself against Opelka after securing his spot in the semi-finals.

    "I expect it to be tough," Ruud said. "But I will do my best and see how I can do. I always enjoy playing against Reilly. He is a similar age to myself, and it will be another battle against him – hopefully it will be a good one."

    Elsewhere, three-time grand slam semi-finalist Richard Gasquet followed up his shock win over Daniil Medvedev with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Kamil Majchrzak, and will face Joao Sousa for a place in the final after the Portuguese beat Ilya Ivashka 7-5 7-5.

    At the Lyon Open, top seed Norrie battled to a 6-4 4-6 7-5 win over Sebastian Baez, spurning three match points before finally downing the Argentinian after a marathon two hours and 40 minutes clash.

    The world number 11 will face Holger Rune in his semi-final contest after the 19-year-old came from a set down to beat Manuel Guinard 3-6 6-3 6-4.

    The other semi-final in France will see fourth seed Alex de Minaur take on Alex Molcan after the Australian's quarter-final opponent Yosuke Watanuki withdrew after losing the first set 6-4, citing a back issue.

    Molcan, meanwhile, downed Federico Coria 6-3 6-2 to reach the final four.

  • Kerber reaches first clay semi-final since 2016 as Pliskova marches on in Strasbourg Kerber reaches first clay semi-final since 2016 as Pliskova marches on in Strasbourg

    Angelique Kerber defeated Magda Linette in three sets at the Internationaux de Strasbourg to reach her first clay-court semi-final since 2016.

    World number 22 Kerber rolled back the years with a battling 6-2 4-6 6-4 victory in a time of a little over two hours on Thursday.

    She converted four of her nine break points and will now face the unseeded Oceane Dodin, who needed just an hour to overcome Viktorija Golubic 6-3 6-0.

    Top seed Karolina Pliskova continued her progression with a 6-4 7-6 (8-6) victory over Maryna Zanevska, meanwhile, and will take on Kaja Juvan for a place in the final after she beat fourth seed Elise Mertens 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

    Pliskova, who saved four set points in the tie-break, is aiming to become the fourth Czech champion in Strasbourg.

    At the Grand Prix Sar La Princesse Lalla Meryem, Anna Bondar is the last seed standing after opponent Ajla Tomljanovic retired injured when 5-1 down in the opener.

    Clair Liu saw off Astra Sharma 6-4 6-1 to reach the semi-finals in Morocco, while Lucia Bronzetti and Martina Trevisan will meet in the other final-four showdown.

    Bronzetti outlasted third seed Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-5) while Liu beat Astra Sharma 6-4 6-1.

  • French Open: Djokovic, Alcaraz and Nadal all on same side of draw at Roland Garros French Open: Djokovic, Alcaraz and Nadal all on same side of draw at Roland Garros

    Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz are all on the same half of the draw at the French Open, while women's world number one Iga Swiatek will face a qualifier in the first round at Roland Garros.

    Djokovic, who will make his Grand Slam return having missed the Australian Open, opens in Paris against Yoshihito Nishioka, while record 21-time grand slam winner Nadal meets Australia's Jordan Thompson.

    The veteran pair of Djokovic and Nadal could challenge each other in the quarter-finals in the top half of the draw, where Alcaraz could come across world number three Alexander Zverev.

    Alcaraz faces a qualifier in the first round and has won 16 of his last 17 matches, with the one blemish on his remarkable run coming against Sebastian Korda, who the Spaniard could meet in the third round.

    Daniil Medvedev will have to get past Argentine Facundo Bagnis in the first round, while Lorenzo Musetti stands in the way of last year's runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas.

    Medvedev and Tsitsipas are joined in the wide-open bottom half of the draw by Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev, who meet home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and South Korea's Soonwoo Kwon respectively.

    In the women's draw, 2020 champion Swiatek comes in as favourite and will look to continue her 28-match winning streak when she faces a qualifier in the first round, as does US Open winner Emma Raducanu.

    The Brit will then take on Aliaksandra Sasnovich or Wang Xinyu before a potential last-16 meeting with Ons Jabeur, who first has to get past Poland's Magda Linette.

    Meanwhile, Karolina Pliskova – who has a first-round clash with France's Tessah Andrianjafitrimo – could set up a quarter-final meeting with Swiatek, but the Pole may have to get past Simona Halep in the fourth round first.

    Defending champion Barbora Krejcikova starts against Diane Parry, while Naomi Osaka was drawn against the in-form Amanda Anisimova, who beat the Japanese in the third round of the Australian Open.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.