World number one Novak Djokovic has had his Australian visa revoked for a second time and now faces being deported from the country.

Djokovic won an appeal on Monday to remain in the country, but immigration minister Alex Hawke used separate powers in Australia's Migration Act to again cancel the visa.

The Serbian must now lodge a fresh legal challenge should he wish to defend his Australian Open title, with the tournament set to begin next Monday. 

Novak Djokovic has had his Australian visa revoked for a second time and now faces being deported from the country.

Novak Djokovic has had his visa cancelled for a second time by the Australian government and faces deportation.

Lionel Messi has revealed that it took him longer than he expected to recover after recently testing positive for COVID-19.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward tested positive for COVID-19 while back home in Argentina during the mid-season break and subsequently missed his team's 4-0 victory over Vannes in the Coupe de France.

However, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner returned a negative test last week and was set to be available to face Lyon, only for the Ligue 1 leaders to confirm that he would "continue his post-COVID individual recovery protocol for the next few days."

Addressing his 300 million followers on Instagram, Messi issued his appreciation for the support during his recovery, and hopes it will not be long until he returns to action.

He posted: "Good afternoon! As you know I had COVID and I wanted to thank you for all the messages I received and to tell you that it took me longer than I thought to be well, but I have almost recovered, and I am really looking forward to getting back on the pitch. 

"I have been training these days to put myself at 100 per cent, very nice challenges are coming this year and I hope we can meet again very soon. Thanks!!!"

Messi has been directly involved in 10 goals in 16 appearances across all competitions since his switch from Barcelona, scoring six and assisting four. He has created 32 chances for his team-mates, and averaged a goal every 219 minutes.

However, he has only found the net once in 11 Ligue 1 games so far under Mauricio Pochettino.

 

Novak Djokovic put the Australian Open at risk and has made other participants "look like fools" by turning up for the tournament unvaccinated, according to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

World number one Djokovic was paired with Miomir Kecmanovic in Thursday's draw for the opening round, but it remains uncertain whether he will even take part in the first grand slam of the year.

The Serbian was last week given a medical exemption to enter Australia, despite not being vaccinated, only for border officials to block it upon his arrival.

Djokovic was detained for four days while waiting to appeal the case on Monday, which went in his favour at Melbourne Circuit Court.

He has since started training ahead of the Australian Open, which begins next Monday, though immigration minister Alex Hawke may yet cancel his visa for a second time.

The 34-year-old is also being investigated for breaching isolation rules in December after testing positive for COVID-19.

And as a decision regarding whether he can stay in Australia and defend his title is dragged out, Tsitsipas has become the highest-profile tennis figure to criticise Djokovic for his conduct.

"He has been playing by his own rules," world number four Tsitsipas told Indian outlet WION.

"No one would have thought: 'I can come to Australia unvaccinated and not have to follow the protocols they gave me'.

"For Novak it worked another way. It takes a lot of daring to do. Putting a Grand Slam at risk – I don't think many players would do that."

Tsitsipas, who was defeated by Djokovic in last year's French Open final, added: "There are two ways to look at it.

"One way is that almost every single player has been vaccinated and did what they had to do in order to come and play in Australia.

"We have all followed the protocols to come and compete in Australia and been very disciplined in that.

"It seems like not everyone is playing by the rules of how Tennis Australia and some governments have been putting things.

"A very small minority chose to follow their own way. It makes the majority look like they are all fools."

Djokovic has spent the past four days training on court in preparation for the Australian Open, which he has won a record nine times, including in each of the last three years.

But weighing in on the debate on Thursday, Australian deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce said the 20-time grand slam winner must "abide by the rules" if he is to remain in the country.

"You have to be frank – the vast majority of Australians said they didn't like the idea that another individual, whether they're a tennis player or the king of Spain or the queen of England, can come up here and have a different set of rules to what everybody else has to deal with," Joyce said.

"Let's see where it goes from here… I've made my views clear. I might not agree with the fact that I have to be tested to go from New South Wales into Queensland but I do [it’. Why? Because that is the law.

"He is no better. He is still a child of God like the rest of us, isn't he? So he has got to abide by the laws."

Gabon coach Patrice Neveu has tested positive for COVID-19 and missed training on Thursday as captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned from isolation with a rallying call.

Neveu's team started their Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a 1-0 win over Comoros on Monday, but the coach appears certain to be absent for their second game on Friday when Ghana provide the opposition.

The Gabonese Football Federation confirmed Neveu's positive test result and stated training was led by assistant coach Anicet Yala, who himself tested positive on arrival in Cameroon last week.

Arsenal striker Aubameyang and Monaco midfielder Mario Lemina also returned positive results before the tournament began, but both are back on the training pitch and could be involved against Ghana.

Aubameyang said he had been able to train on an exercise bike and treadmill in his hotel room to keep up a basic level of fitness.

"Staying locked up is not easy," he said. "So we're happy to be back in training and in the squad."

Aubameyang contended it was too early to feel in any way serene about Gabon's progress in the competition and insisted he and his team-mates must stay focused as Ghana await them.

"I won't say serene, but it certainly feels good to start the competition with a victory," said Aubameyang, quoted on the Gabon team website. "After that, you shouldn't think that you won the [Cup of Nations] either.

"We are going to play a very tough opponent who want to win the game, so we will have to be serious as we were in the first game and I know that we will have our chances.

"I was already very happy that the guys did the job in the first game, we are all proud of them. Now it's up to me to level up and bring everything I can to the group."

The Cup of Nations was expected to provide welcome respite for Aubameyang after strife at club level.

His Arsenal future has become clouded by uncertainty after he was stripped of the club captaincy and dropped by manager Mikel Arteta following a disciplinary breach.

Novak Djokovic has been labelled "selfish" by Joao Sousa for arriving at the Australian Open unvaccinated, but uncertainty still surrounds the Serbian's participation in the event. 

World number one Djokovic was last week given a medical exemption to enter Australia, despite not being vaccinated, only for border officials to block it upon his arrival.

The 20-time grand slam winner was detained for four days while waiting to appeal the case on Monday, which went in his favour at Melbourne Circuit Court.

Djokovic has since started training ahead of the Australian Open, which begins on January 17, though immigration minister Alex Hawke may yet cancel his visa for a second time.

Should the 34-year-old be given the green light to compete at Melbourne Park, however, world number 140 Sousa says it will not sit right with others taking part.

"I respect that he fights for what he believes and I can be empathetic with what he is going through in Australia," Sousa is quoted as saying by Portuguese outlet Bola Amarela.

"But it's a bit selfish from him to arrive here as the only player unvaccinated. It's tough for us players to accept that."

Djokovic has been widely criticised for appearing on social media to mingle with the public in a series of appearances after returning a positive COVID-19 test on December 16.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Djokovic accepted he had made "an error of judgement" going ahead with an interview with French publication L'Equipe around that time.

Franck Ramella, the French journalist who conducted the 33-minute interview while Djokovic was COVID-19 positive, confirmed the tennis star wore a mask the whole time.

A decision on whether Djokovic can defend the title he has won a record nine times could be made on Thursday, when the draw for the main tournament is scheduled to take place.

Draymond Green is unlikely to play in the Golden State Warriors' upcoming road games against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls according to head coach Steve Kerr.

The Warriors are 28-6 this season with Green in the side but also 2-4 in games he has missed, highlighting his importance.

Klay Thompson's long-awaited return from injury on Sunday coincided with Green's calf tightness meaning the Warriors are yet to have that pair and two-time MVP Stephen Curry together.

Kerr said after Tuesday's 116-108 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies that Green would not be returning during their four-game road trip despite some reports.

"I think it's doubtful right now that he would join us," Kerr told reporters. "He's doing well.

"With the back-to-back, it seems far-fetched to think that we'll just fly him out and play him. He's not ready to do that. We'll see how it goes the next couple of days."

The return of Thompson, with the Warriors second in the west with a 30-10 record, marks a new beginning according to Kerr who said they will "shuffle the deck".

Thompson, who had not played for 941 days prior to Sunday's return, has spent 20 minutes on court in both appearances.

"That'll be a process as he continues to ramp up his minutes and we get Draymond back," Kerr said. "You'll see the team start to form in terms of how we're going to close games, not only offensively bur defensively.

"In a strange way, these three to four weeks are going to be about re-establishing our identity as a team. We did a great job in the first 40 games in becoming a great defensive team.

"A lot of guys have played important minutes and established roles but now that's going to be shaping up a bit because Klay is going to play a huge role.

"We've learned a lot about our young guys. Over this next month we're going to shuffle the deck and try some different combinations and try get everything in order for the stretch run and playoffs."

He added: "It's no secret that down the stretch we're going to want Steph [Curry] and Klay shooting big shots. Wigs [Andrew Wiggins] can also attack and get to the rim. We're going to call a lot of plays for Klay and try to get the ball in his hands."

Novak Djokovic has moved to "address the continued misinformation" about his attendance at events in December after he had tested positive for COVID-19 prior to his arrival in Australia.

The world number one, who won an appeal on Monday over his visa cancellation after being detained on arrival in Melbourne last week, wrote a six-panel post on Instagram on Wednesday amid ongoing discussion on his participation at the upcoming Australian Open due to commence on January 17.

Djokovic has come under fire for allegedly incorrectly filling out his Australian Travel Declaration form, with Immigration Minister Alex Hawked stating he would "thoroughly consider" the false declaration.

The 20-time major winner said in the post that this was a "human error" and that he had since provided additional information to the Australian Government to clarify the matter.

The Serbian has also been criticised for appearing on social media to mingle with the public in a series of appearances after returning a positive test for COVID-19 on December 16.

Fellow Grand Slam winner Andy Murray had said on Tuesday that Djokovic needed to explain why he was out in public when positive with COVID-19, with Djokovic explaining his version of events.

"I attended a basketball game in Belgrade on 14 December after which it was reported that a number of people tested positive with COVID-19," Djokovic wrote.

"Despite having no COVID symptoms, I took a rapid antigen test on 16 December which was negative, and out of an abundance of caution, also took an official and approved PCR test on that same day.

"The next day I attended a tennis event in Belgrade to present awards to children and took a rapid antigen test before going to the event, and it was negative. I was asymptomatic and felt good, and I had not received the notification of a positive PCR test result until after that event.

"The next day, on 18 December I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfil a long-standing commitment for a L'Equipe interview and photoshoot. I cancelled all other events except for the L'Equipe interview.

"I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L'Equipe interview as I didn't want to let the journalist down, but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken.

"While I went home after the interview to isolate for the required period, on reflection, this was an error of judgement and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment."

Djokovic said the false declaration, where it was written he had not travelled in the 14 days prior to his arrival in Australia, was a "human error" and "not deliberate".

"On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf - as I told immigration officials on my arrival - and my agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia," Djokovic said.

"This was a human error and certainly not deliberate. We are living in challenging times in a global pandemic and sometimes these mistakes can occur. Today, my team has provided additional information to the Australian Government to clarify this matter."

Novak Djokovic has moved to "address the continued misinformation" about his attendance at events in December after he had tested positive for COVID-19 prior to his arrival in Australia.

The world number one, who won an appeal on Monday over his visa cancellation after being detained on arrival in Melbourne last week, wrote a six-panel post on Instagram on Wednesday amid ongoing discussion on his participation at the upcoming Australian Open.

Djokovic has come under fire for allegedly incorrectly filling out his Australian Travel Declaration form, with Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawked stating he would "thoroughly consider" the false declaration.

The 20-time major winner said in the post that this was a "human error" and that he had since provided additional information to the Australian Government to clarify the matter.

The Serbian has also been criticized for appearing on social media to mingle with the public in a series of appearances after returning a positive test for COVID-19 on December 16 but he moved to clarify that situation too.

Fellow Grand Slam winner Andy Murray had said on Tuesday that Djokovic needed to explain why he was out in public when positive with COVID-19.

"I attended a basketball game in Belgrade on 14 December after which it was reported that a number of people tested positive with COVID-19," Djokovic wrote.

"Despite having no COVID symptoms, I took a rapid antigen test on 16 December which was negative, and out of an abundance of caution, also took an official and approved PCR test on that same day.

"The next day I attended a tennis event in Belgrade to present awards to children and took a rapid antigen test before going to the event, and it was negative. I was asymptomatic and felt good, and I had not received the notification of a positive PCR test result until after that event.

"The next day, on 18 December I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfil a long-standing commitment for a L'Equipe interview and photoshoot. I cancelled all other events except for the L'Equipe interview.

"I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L'Equipe interview as I didn't want to let the journalist down, but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken.

"While I went home after the interview to isolate for the required period, on reflection, this was an error of judgement and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment."

Djokovic said the false declaration, where it was written he had not travelled in the 14 days prior to his arrival in Australia, was a "human error" and "not deliberate".

"On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf - as I told immigration officials on my arrival - and my agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia," Djokovic said.

"This was a human error and certainly not deliberate. We are living in challenging times in a global pandemic and sometimes these mistakes can occur. Today, my team has provided additional information to the Australian Government to clarify this matter."

Andy Murray says there are "questions that need to be answered" by Novak Djokovic before the world number one plays in the Australian Open.

Frustrated by the Djokovic saga becoming a distraction, Murray wants the world number one to tie up loose ends at the earliest opportunity, so the tennis world can move on.

There remain grey areas surrounding the Serbian's commitment to isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 on December 16 last year.

A maskless Djokovic was pictured at a Belgrade tennis club's awards event on December 17, and L'Equipe has reported he took part in a photo shoot and interview for the French sports newspaper on the following day. It remains to be established whether Djokovic knew by that stage that he had returned a positive test.

The coronavirus infection allowed Djokovic to qualify for a medical exemption to play at Melbourne Park, and the 20-time grand slam winner confirmed on arrival in Australia that he is unvaccinated, before his visa was initially revoked.

It is not known what his plans would have been for the Australian Open had he not tested positive, as players are required by Tennis Australia to be either vaccinated or have a compelling case for an exemption.

Djokovic was released from a four-day detention in a Melbourne hotel following a court hearing on Monday, and long-time friend and rival Murray said: "It's positive that he's not in detention anymore. He won in court, so that's a positive thing for him, and hopefully we'll be able to concentrate on the tennis now.

"I think there is still a few questions that need to be answered around the isolation and stuff, which I'm sure we'll hear from him in the next few days, but I'm obviously here to try and play and win tournaments."

Australia's immigration minister Alex Hawke could still cancel Djokovic's visa on new grounds, meaning his participation at the year's first grand slam, which begins next Monday, is not yet 100 per cent confirmed. The nine-time Australian Open champion will be seeking a record 21st men's grand slam singles title if cleared to play.

Murray, who won in the first round of the Sydney Classic on Tuesday, is conscious of the Djokovic saga dragging on.

It was clear the Briton believes an important step forward is for Djokovic to answer journalists' questions on the matter.

"It's the first match that I have played here, or won here, in over three years, and this is where the situations like this are frustrating for players," said Murray. "I want to come off and talk about my tennis and what's happening there, not talking about situations like that.

"So I'm hoping that we can move on from it now. He won in court, which is good. It looks like he's going to be able to play and compete in the Australian Open. We do want the best players there.

"But like I said, I think there is still a few questions to be answered. It's up to the press to ask about that and for Novak to clarify, so let's wait to see what he says."

Australia's Immigration Minister will "thoroughly consider" Novak Djokovic's visa status after fresh concerns were raised over his whereabouts in the two weeks prior to arriving in the country.

Djokovic is alleged to have falsely declared he had not travelled in the 14 days prior to his flight to Melbourne in the Australian Travel Declaration form which is a "serious offence".

The world number one flew from Spain to Australia via Dubai but was seen on social media in the 14 days prior to his arrival in his native Serbia with handball player Petar Djordjic.

Djokovic, who trained at Melbourne Park on Tuesday, was released from detention on Monday after winning his appeal and having his visa reinstated.

However, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement on Tuesday that he will investigate the claims of Djokovic's false declaration.

“In line with due process, Minister Hawke will thoroughly consider the matter,” a representative said.

Mr Hawke has the power to cancel Djokovic's visa, which would force his deportation ahead of the Australian Open which is due to commence on January 17.

On Monday, Djokovic posted to Instagram: “I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen I remain focused on that.

“I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans.”

Novak Djokovic is "pleased and grateful" after winning his court battle to stay in Australia and is focused on defending his title at the first grand slam of the year.

Following days of uncertainty regarding the world number one's participation at the Australian Open, it was ruled on Monday he should be immediately released from detention.

That came after authorities cancelled his visa last week, despite the Serbian being granted a medical exemption that allowed him to enter the country, regardless of his vaccination status.

The Australian Border Force declared Djokovic must fly out of the country on Thursday, sparking the challenge that went in the tennis star's favour on Monday.

However, Australia's immigration minister Alex Hawke could still cancel Djokovic's visa on new grounds, meaning his Australian Open participation is not yet 100 per cent known.

But speaking about the saga for the first time on Monday, Djokovic said he remains hopeful of competing at Melbourne Park next week.

"I'm pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation," he posted on his personal Twitter account. 

"Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete at the Australian Open. I remain focused on that. 

"I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans."

In a follow-up tweet to his 8.9 million followers, Djokovic added: "For now I cannot say more but THANK YOU all for standing with me through all this and encouraging me to stay strong."

Twenty-time grand slam winner Djokovic posted the message at the same time that his family were holding a news conference in Belgrade, which he was expected to join via video link.

Djokovic's brother Djordje confirmed that the 34-year-old has already returned to the practice court ahead of the Australian Open, which he has won a record nine times.

After spending the weekend at a detention hotel in Melbourne as he attempted to defeat the deportation order, Djokovic's mother Dijana accused the local authorities of subjecting her son "to torture and harassment".

Dijana added: "This is his biggest win in his career – bigger than any grand slam."

Djokovic's father Srdjan praised the mental strength of his son and put Monday's verdict down as a victory for a wider cause.

"Over the past few days, it's been very, very difficult for everyone in the world who is free thinking. But he is mentally extremely, extremely strong," he said.

"They took away all his rights, as a human being. He refused to revoke his visa. They gave him no right to prepare his defence for several hours, and they took away his phone. 

"Fortunately they gave him back his phone. He contacted his legal team who mounted a fantastic defence, that they could not match.

"This is a huge win for Novak, his family and the free world. He respected everything that was asked of him. He only wanted to go there to play tennis.

"Justice and the rule of law have prevailed. The judge who presided over the case has shown that not for a second was Novak the guilty party. 

"The judge was fantastic, he simply respected the facts. He took the only decision that was possible which was to release Novak."

Nick Kyrgios is a doubt to take part at the Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Australian star withdrew from the Sydney Tennis Classic hours before he was due to face Fabio Fognini.

The 26-year-old had already pulled out of the Melbourne Summer Set last week after struggling with an unknown illness that affected his asthma.

He was tested for coronavirus but all had come back negative until Monday.

With the first grand slam of 2022 just one week away, Kyrgios hopes he will recover in time to enter the draw.

"Hey everyone, 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," he wrote on Instagram.

"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."

Kyrgios has not played a singles match since losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Laver Cup last September and has dropped to 114 in the world rankings.

The former world number 13, who lost a thrilling five-set match with Dominic Thiem in the round of 32 in Melbourne last year, has only once gone as far as the quarter-finals at his home grand slam.

He reached the last eight in 2015, where he lost in straight sets to beaten finalist Andy Murray.

Rafael Nadal joked that he would rather Novak Djokovic does not play at the upcoming Australian Open after the world number one won his appeal to remain in the country.

Djokovic was left fighting for the right to compete at the opening grand slam of the year, a tournament he has won nine times, after authorities cancelled his visa last week.

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

But the Australian Border Force declared Djokovic had been ordered to fly out of the country on Thursday, sparking a challenge to that decision by the tennis star's legal team.

After both sides had presented their cases, Djokovic was handed an Australian Open lifeline on Monday when defeating a deportation order brought by Australia's government

Judge Anthony Kelly ruled at Melbourne Circuit Court that Djokovic's visa cancellation order should be "quashed" immediately.

There may yet be another twist in the saga, though, as Australia's immigration minister Alex Hawke could still cancel the 34-year-old's visa on new grounds.

Djokovic now appears far more likely to defend his Australian Open crown than he did over the weekend, however, as he goes in search of a 21st major title.

While that will inevitably make Nadal's chances of success at Melbourne Park a whole lot tougher, the Spaniard said the decision to grant Djokovic's freedom must be respected.

"Whether or not I agree with Djokovic on some things, justice has spoken and has said that he has the right to participate in the Australian Open," he told Onda Cero.

"I think it is the fairest decision to do so, if it has been resolved that way. I wish him the best of luck.

"But on a personal level, I'd much rather he didn't play!"

 

Nadal described Djokovic's COVID-19 vaccination controversy "a circus" and reiterated that the vaccine "is the way to stop this pandemic and disaster".

The 35-year-old ramped up his preparations for the Australian Open by winning last week's Melbourne Summer Set without dropping a single set.

That was Nadal's first tournament in five months due to injury and means he has won at least one ATP Tour trophy in every season since 2004 onwards.

He is level with Djokovic and fellow great Roger Federer on 20 grand slam titles, with the trio locked in a race to finish with the most majors.

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