“Disappointed” Novak Djokovic Says He Will Leave Australia After Losing Legal Fight

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Novak Djokovic said on Sunday that he was “extremely disappointed” by Australia’s decision to deport him, but would comply and leave the country. Hours earlier, three Federal Court judges had unanimously dismissed the unvaccinated Serbian superstar’s latest attempt to overturn the government’s cancellation of his visa. “I respect the ruling of the Court and will cooperate with the relevant authorities regarding my departure from the country,” the 34-year-old world number one said in a statement on the eve of the Australian Open.

In an 11-day battle over the lack of a Covid-19 vaccine that drew global attention, the tennis ace had his visa canceled at Melbourne airport, reinstated over a procedural issue and then the government canceled it again.

He spent his first nights in Australia in a notorious Melbourne detention center, walked free to practice on the Australian Open courts for several days after he got his visa back, and was then returned to detention.

“I will now take some time to rest and recover, before I make any further comments beyond this,” Djokovic said.

The defending Australian Open champion flew to Melbourne on January 5 hoping to win the title for the 10th time, becoming the first male player in the history of the game to claim 21 Grand Slam titles.

“It makes me uncomfortable that the focus for the past few weeks has been on me and I hope now we can all focus on the game and the tournament that I love,” said Djokovic, who was scheduled to play Monday night as the top seed.

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“I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament,” he said.

“Finally, I would like to thank my family, friends, team, supporters, fans and my fellow Serbs for their continued support. You have all been a great source of strength for me.”

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