’Variety Of Jurisdictional Errors’ Affected Decision To Refuse Novak Djokovic's Visa, Claims Legal Team - UBITENNIS
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’Variety Of Jurisdictional Errors’ Affected Decision To Refuse Novak Djokovic’s Visa, Claims Legal Team

A written statement from the tennis star outlines his version of events which unfolded during his airport detention.

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Novak Djokovic returns a shot during a Men's Singles quarterfinal match at the 2021 US Open, Wednesday, Sep. 8, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Jed Jacobsohn/USTA)

The legal team of Novak Djokovic will argue that the process to refuse a visa for the tennis star failed to follow the correct procedures.

Australian law firm Hall and Wilcox have submitted a 35-page document to the court outlining their argument which confirmed Djokovic’s reason for a medical exemption for the first time. According to court files, he tested positive for COVID-19 on December 16th. As a result of this, he then applied for a medical exemption to play at the Australian Open on the basis that he had tested positive for the virus and recently recovered.

Leading up to that date Djokovic was seen attending a basketball match which has been linked to a series of COVID-19 cases since. Then on the 16th he attended a special function in Belgrade to mark a stamp being issued in his honour. It is unclear if he received news of a positive test before or after he attended that event.

Djokovic arrived in Australia just before midnight on Janurary 5th where he was subsequently taken into questioning by the Australian Border Force (ABF). After a lengthy interview process, which lasted roughly eight hours, it was deemed that the 20-time Grand Slam champion had failed to provide enough evidence to support his visa application. Opting to appeal against that decision, he has been placed at the Park Hotel which is a quarantine facility. His appeal to move to another location in order to train was refused.

Djokovic received his medical exemption on January 1st. It was supported by both the Victoria State government and Australian Open organisers based on the advice they received from two independent panels. However, the issue is that the Victoria state medical exemption has been deemed invalid by the ABF.

“When he read to me the page headed ‘ATTACHMENT A (Part A)’, I made some comments. When he said that previous infection with COVID-19 is not considered a medical contraindication for COVID-19 vaccination in Australia, I said that that’s not true, and I told him that the Independent State Government medical panel had said and I explained why. I then referred to the two medical panels and the Travel Declaration (which had been assessed by the Commonwealth Government and indicated that I could lawfully enter into Australia).” Djokovic wrote in his affidavit which is a written statement of facts a person sign under oath.

“I explained that I had been recently infected with COVID in December 2021 and on this basis I was entitled to a medical exemption in accordance with Australian Government rules and guidance. I further explained that my medical exemption had been granted by the Independent Expert Medical Review Panel, that I had previously provided all relevant medical reports to TA, including my COVID-PCR test results, and that accordingly the visa should not be cancelled. I told the ABF officers that I had correctly made my Australian Travel Declaration and otherwise satisfied all necessary requirements in order to lawfully enter Australia on my visa.”

The outcome of the court case isn’t just crucial for Djokovic but for Tennis Australia too who have been accused of providing incorrect information regarding players exemptions. News sources have reported that guidance given to players in December regarding non vaccinated players contradicted what the Australian health minister wrote to Craig Tiley the month before.

Tennis Australia has refused to publicly comment on the situation due to the ongoing legal case involving Djokovic. However, a video obtained by News Corp showed Tiley recently thanking his staff and said they acted accordingly.

“We’ve chosen at this point not to be very public with it and simply because there is a pending lawsuit related to entry into Australia. Once that has run its course, we’ll be able to share more with you,” he said.
“There’s a lot of finger-pointing going on and a lot of blaming going on, but I can assure you our team has done an unbelievable job and have done everything they possibly could according to all the instructions that they have been provided.”

Meanwhile, in a separate revelation concerning Tennis Australia it is understood that Tiley told senior officials that the viability of the Australian Open depended on allowing unvaccinated players to participate. Those remarks were made in a letter sent to Australia’s advisory body on immunisation on November 10th which was a week before officials declared that vaccination is required for all players unless they are exempt.

Djokovic will hear the outcome of his legal case on Monday. Should he fail, he will be forced to leave the country and in the worst case scenario could receive a ban from the country which could affect his participation in the Australian Open in future years.

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Rafael Nadal To Play Laver Cup In Berlin

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Rafael Nadal has eased speculation that he might be retiring from the sport soon after signing on to play in the Laver Cup later this year. 

The 22-time Grand Slam champion is the latest player to join the line-up for this year’s team competition which features Europe taking on the rest of the world over three days. It will be Nadal’s fourth appearance in the competition and his first since 2022. He competed in the inaugural edition of the event back in 2017 alongside co-founder Roger Federer. 

“I am very happy to be playing Laver Cup in Berlin for Team Europe,” Nadal said in a press release. “I have some really special memories from my Laver Cup experiences, including all the emotions from London two years ago playing alongside Roger for the last time.”

Nadal’s decision to play comes amid questions about his future in the sport. The former world No.1 has previously indicated that this year could be his last on the Tour but he has stated that no decision has been made. In recent months he has been sidelined from action due to injury setbacks and has only been able to play in two tournaments so far this year. 

“At this stage in my career I really want to go out there and make the most of every opportunity I am given,” he explains.
“Teaming up is always an incredible experience and I have always enjoyed it, the competition is different and exciting. I’m looking forward to going to Berlin and helping Team Europe win back the Laver Cup.”

Other European players confirmed to be playing are Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev. Meanwhile, Alex de Minaur, Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul have agreed to play for Team World. This year’s event will be held in Belin at the Uber Arena between September 20-22. 

The Laver Cup was inspired by golf’s Ryder Cup. It was co-founded by Federer’s Team8 management company (which he formed with agent Tony Godsick), businessman Jorge Paulo Lemann and Tennis Australia. In 2019 it became an official ATP sanction event and now has a place on the official calendar. 

Nadal is set to return to competitive action at the Madrid Masters which he has won on five previous occasions. He has been drawn to play teenage wild card Darwin Blanch in the first round. If he wins, Nadal will then play Alex de Minaur who knocked him out of the Barcelona Open last week. 

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Iga Swiatek beats Emma Raducanu to extend her winning streak to ten consecutive matches in Stuttgart

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Two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek held off 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 after 2 hours and 3 minutes to extend her winning streak to 10 consecutive matches at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. 

Swiatek set up a semifinal match against 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, who came back from a break down in the third set to beat this year’s Dubai champion Jasmine Paolini.

Raducanu came back from 0-40 down to earn the first break of the opening set. Swiatek converted her third break point in the second game in a seven-deuce second game. Raducanu saved the only other break point at deuce in the sixth game. Swiatek won the first four points and five of the first six points to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Swiatek earned five break points in the second, sixth and in the 12thgame, but she converted only one opportunity. Raducanu converted her only break point in the first game. Swiatek won nine more points than Swiatek. 

Swiatek broke Raducanu in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead. This break was decisive, as both players held on their next serve in their next games. 

Swiatek earned six break points in the third, fifth and ninth games, but she converted one chance. The Pole did not face a single break point and won eight more points than Raducanu.

“Raducanu started playing at the beginning pretty loose, like she had nothing to lose, and I totally get that. Sometimes it is like that. I knew I was questioning if she is going to be able to keep the same intensity throughout the whole match. It was not about service games or return games. I was just waiting for my chances to break back and I was sure that I am going to get them”, said Swiatek.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Sebastian Ofner in Barcelona to extend his winning streak

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Sebastian Ofner 6-4 7-5 at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell to extend his winning streak to seven consecutive matches after claiming his third title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters last week. 

Tsitsipas earned an immediate break in the first game. Ofner broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. Tsitsipas earned his second break  in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and served out the first set 6-4 with a hold at 15. 

Tsitsipas broke in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner won three consecutive games with two breaks of serve to take a 5-3 lead. Tsitsipas came back by winning four consecutive games with two breaks of serve to seal the second set 7-5.

Tsitsipas has a record of 17 wins to 5 defeats in Barcelona. The Greek player reached three finals at this tournament in 2018, 2021 and 2023.  

“I feel pretty good, but it is still early in the tournament. The conditions here are very different to Monte-Carlo and I felt it today when I was playing. My job is to adapt and to ensure I can bring my A game again in Barcelona this week. Today was a great test to see where I stand. I am hoping to keep on improving and getting good wins like this under my belt”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitssipas set up a third round match against Roberto Carballes Baena, who beat Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

Musetti saved three break points in the first game of the opening set. The Italian player earned two break points with a backhand down the line. Musetti saved two break points in the seventh game. Both players went on serve un the 12th game when Carballes Baena saved a set point. Carballes Baena went up a 5-1 lead with two mini-breaks in the tie-break. Musetti won three consecutive points to reduce to 4-5. Carballes Baena won the final two points to take the tie-break 7-4. 

Carballes Baena converted his fourth break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Musetti broke back in the fifth game. Carballes Baena saved a break point in the sixth game. The Spanish player sealed the win with a break on his second match. 

Last week’s Monte-Carlo finalist Casper Ruud beat Alexandre Muller 6-3 6-4 to claim his 25th tour-level win of the season. Ruud has drawn level with Jannik Sinner for the most wins in 2024 on the ATP Tour. 

Ruud set up a third round match against Jordan Thompson, who beat Jaume Munar 6-4 2-4 6-4. Roberto Bautista Agut beat Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-4 6-1 to claim his milestone 400th match win on the ATP Tour. Bautista Agut set up a third round match against Cameron Norrie. 

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