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Immigration Minister confirms Djokovic's departure from Australia

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-01-17 14:47
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Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic walks at Dubai Airport after the Australian Federal Court upheld a government decision to cancel his visa to play in the Australian Open, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Jan 17, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

CANBERRA - The Australian Government has confirmed Novak Djokovic has been deported from the country.

Djokovic, the world's top-ranked male tennis player, on Sunday night flew out of Australia just hours before the start of the Australian Open after the Federal Court unanimously upheld the government's decision to cancel his visa.

In a statement released on Sunday night, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke - who made the decision to cancel the visa - confirmed the Serbian superstar's departure.

"I welcome today's unanimous decision by the Full Federal Court of Australia, upholding my decision to exercise my power under the Migration Act to cancel Mr Novak Djokovic's visa in the public interest," he said.

Earlier on Sunday night, the full bench of the Federal Court ruled that Hawke had the legal power to cancel Djokovic's visa under the Migration Act.

Djokovic said in a statement he was "extremely disappointed" with the ruling but "respected" the court's decision.

The 2022 Australian Open starts on Monday, with Salvatore Caruso from Italy replacing Djokovic in the draw as the "lucky loser".

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