Novak Djokovic’s bid to play the 2022 Australian Open has hit another hurdle after he was denied entry into Australia on Wednesday (5 January) after a mix-up with his visa application.
According to The Times of London, a member of Djokovic’s team requested a type of visa that does not apply to individuals who have been granted a medical exemption from the Covid-19 vaccines.
On Tuesday, Australian Open organizers announced that the world No 1 was granted a medical exemption to play in the year’s first Grand Slam without being vaccinated against Covid-19.
But the latest hiccup means Djokovic is unable to proceed through passport control, with the report adding that the error had been discovered by the Australian border force while the Serb was already traveling on a commercial flight from Dubai to Melbourne.
There have been public frustrations about Djokovic’s vaccination status.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that while Tennis Australia approved Djokovic’s exemption, it is still a government decision to allow him to enter the nation.
Victoria state Deputy Premier James Merlino said last month that medical exemptions were “not a loophole for privileged tennis players.”
Labor MP Jaala Pulford said on Twitter: “We will not be providing Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam.”
The Australian Open starts on 17 January.