On Sunday, tennis star Novak Djokovic lost his final bid to avoid deportation and play in the 2022 Australian Open due to his unwillingness to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. He was later deported from Australia and lost his visa appeal to participate in the tournament and stay in the country.
The court unanimously dismissed the No. 1-ranked tennis player's challenge of a government minister's decision to cancel his visa. Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” by the ruling but respected it. Djokovic, who is 34 years old, has won a record nine Australian Open titles- including three in a row, but he won’t get the chance to go for a 10th one this year.
Djokovic full statement was, “I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister's decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open, "I respect the Court's ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country.”
With Djokovic unvaccinated and not willing to get vaccinated, how will this affect his legacy with many major tournaments requiring a vaccine mandate? He is still tied with 20 Grand Slams of his career with contemporaries Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and with him being just 34 years old and still at the peak of his powers he could’ve potentially passed them up with the Australian Open crown.
Unfortunately, he will have to ponder on what could have been if he was able to participate and should continue thinking about the future as this is a long bizarre road ahead for him as long as he’s unvaccinated.