Novak Djokovic rearrested hours after winning appeal, family claims

Srdan Djokovic tells Serbian journalists that Australian police have rearrested the tennis ace in an apparent bid to push ahead with deporting him

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UPDATE: Novak Djokovic 'pleased and grateful' to have deportation decision overturned

Novak Djokovic has been rearrested by Australian authorities, according to the world No 1's family.

His father, Srdan Djokovic, told Serbian journalists that Australian police have rearrested the tennis ace in an apparent bid to push ahead with deporting him under special powers wielded by the Immigration Minister.

Djokovic, 34, had won his appeal against the decision to cancel his Australian visa on Monday after Judge Anthony Kelly ruled that the government's decision to revoke the tennis star's visa for not meeting Covid-19 entry requirements was "unreasonable".

Judge Kelly ordered 20-time Grand Slam champion's immediate release, but upon leaving his hotel the tennis star was re-arrested, according to Serbia's The Pavlovic Today.

There has been no official confirmation of Djokovic's second arrest, with Paul Sakkal, a political reporter for Australian newspaper The Age, saying the reports were "inaccurate" and that Immigration Minister Alex Hawke was still deciding on whether Djokovic's visa should be re-cancelled.

The BBC reported that Djokovic had been at a lawyer's office in Melbourne throughout the ruling amid a big security and media presence outside the building.

Djokovic's brother, Djordje, told Serbian outlet Sportklub: "What we can do is to let this be known all over social media – they want to capture and lock up Novak again.

"We're currently consulting with PRs about next steps. He is at the moment with his lawyers in the room they were during the hearing, thinking about options."

It remains to be seen whether Djokovic's lawyers will eventually be able to ensure his participation at this month's Australian Open, which runs from January 17-30, with his reported arrest likely to pose a significant threat to his hopes of defending his title.

Djokovic has been held in an immigration detention hotel alongside long-term asylum seekers since Thursday. He was permitted to attend his lawyers' chambers for the virtual hearings but has not been seen in public since arriving in Australia.

His lawyers argued that a recent Covid-19 infection qualified Djokovic for the medical exemption from a requirement for non-Australian citizens entering the country to be double vaccinated.

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Updated: January 10, 2022, 1:48 PM
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