Novak Djokovic timeline: How the Australian Open Covid drama has played out

World No 1 has won his appeal to play Down Under - but the arguments are not over yet

Novak Djokovic, the world No 1, has been fighting to be allowed to play in the Australian Open as arguments rage over the vaccine exemption that would have permitted him to enter.

As it stands, the nine-time Australian champion will be allowed to compete for a record 21st Grand Slam title when the event starts next week.

But the Australian immigration department could still overrule previous decisions, and Djokovic could still be deported.

Here's how the drama has unfolded so far:

December 16: Djokovic takes a PCR test. which turned out to be positive.

December 17: Attends an indoor event for his children's charity, and takes part in a panel discussion at Belgrade's Novak Tennis Centre. Tweets pictures of being given his own postage stamp

December 18: Attends an interview with French sports newspaper L'Equipe.

December 25: Pictured in Serbian capital Belgrade

December 31: Trains at the Puente Romano tennis and beach resort in southern Spain.

January 4: Djokovic announces he will defend his Australian Open title after receiving a medical exemption from getting vaccinated against Covid-19. The 20-time Grand Slam champion posts a photo of himself at the airport to confirm he is travelling Down Under.

January 5: The Australian Border Force announce Djokovic has been denied entry to the country after the player was forced to wait for several hours at Melbourne airport over visa issues. Taken to a quarantine hotel in Melbourne.

January 7: Djokovic breaks his silence from quarantine hotel to say he “greatly appreciates” the support offered to him by fans. In a series of fiery remarks, his father Srdjan Djokovic tells a crowd in Belgrade that his son is the victim of a "political witch hunt" and "corona fascism" and should be freed.

January 8: Djokovic's legal team says their challenge to the Australian government's decision to cancel his visa is based on the fact he recently recovered from Covid-19, maintaining this allowed him to qualify for a medical exemption from the country's vaccination rules.

January 10: An Australian court orders the immediate release of Djokovic from immigration detention. Judge Anthony Kelly quashed the cancellation of the star's visa for not meeting Covid-19 entry requirements and ordered the government to pay legal costs. Djokovic said he is "grateful" to the judge.

January 11: Djokovic investigated over whether he falsely stated he had not travelled and would not do so in the two weeks prior to his flight to Australia. Australian Open organisers install World No 1 as the top seed for the first Grand Slam of the season. Filmed taking part in a practice session at Melbourne Park.

January 12: Djokovic seeks to clarify how mistakes were made on the immigration document he submitted on his arrival in Melbourne, explaining why he was not in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 in December and his agent made a mistake in filling out his Australian travel declaration. He also admitted breaching isolation rules after testing positive for Covid-19 in December, saying it was an "error of judgement".

January 13: Despite arguments continuing, Djokovic is included in the draw for the first round of the Australian Open, and is paired with fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic.

Updated: January 13th 2022, 5:53 AM