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Novak Djokovic’s visa hearing looms

(CNN) – A request by the Australian government to postpone the hearing on Novak Djokovic’s visa by two days has been rejected, according to court documents released on Sunday.

Djokovic right now Imprisoned in a temporary detention facility In Melbourne while filing a file legal challenge Against canceling your visa before this month’s Australian Open.

Karen Andrews, Australia’s home affairs minister, submitted a request on Saturday asking “the final session to be postponed until Wednesday 12 January 2022”, five days before the tournament kicks off.

The reasons for requesting the postponement were not mentioned, but came just hours after Djokovic’s legal team submitted a 35-page document outlining the player’s defense against the decision to cancel his temporary visa.

As part of that defence, it emerged that Djokovic was given a medical exemption ahead of the Australian Open, as he had recently recovered from COVID-19.

In a letter dated December 7, which was leaked to reporters this week and cannot be independently verified by CNN, the organizers of the Australian Open appeared to have incorrectly informed non-vaccinated players that they could enter Australia for the tournament.

Court documents released on Saturday confirmed that Djokovic, who had previously voiced opposition to Covid-19 vaccines and vaccine mandates, had not been vaccinated upon his arrival in Australia on January 5.

The visa hearing is scheduled for 10am local time on Monday (6pm Miami time on Sunday), and a decision on whether you can stay in Australia and compete in the tournament is expected at 4pm (12am Miami) .

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If the court confirms the cancellation of his visa, Djokovic will be deported once appropriate travel arrangements are made.

Retaining Novak Djokovic shows Australia’s refugee crisis 3:51

According to Craig Tilley, CEO of Tennis Australia, it was “conflicting information” that led to exceptions being granted for players who had not been vaccinated prior to the Australian Open.

In an interview with 9 News, a subsidiary of CNNOn this Sunday, Tilly declined to blame either side. He said Tennis Australia was in contact with the Australian Department of Home Affairs “every week” and that all stakeholders were working in a “very challenging environment”.

Tilley added that he would like to see Djokovic play in the Australian Open. The world No. 1 seed is hoping to win a 10th Australian Open title and 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne this month.

Djokovic’s detention at the Park Hotel, an alternative place of detention for refugees and asylum seekers, since Thursday, has attracted wide attention; His supporters gathered outside to demand his release, while others highlighted the plight of the nearly 30 refugees also at the hotel.

Back in Serbia, the birthplace of Djokovic, His parents staged protests About the circumstances in which they say their son is being held as a “prisoner” at the hotel, a claim Andrews denied earlier this week.

“He’s free to go any time he wants, and Border Force will really facilitate that,” Andrews assured ABC on Friday.

In an interview with Serbian national broadcaster RTV Pink on Saturday, the country’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said Djokovic would be given “gluten-free meals, exercise equipment and a laptop” while in detention.

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According to court documents released on Saturday, Djokovic has repeatedly requested that he be moved to a “more suitable place of detention that would allow him to train” ahead of the Australian Open.

Brnabic said he had spoken with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne but was unable to reverse the decision to keep Djokovic at the Park Hotel while he awaits the outcome of his legal case.

“He is still at the Park Hotel, but I wish we had made his stay more bearable because of the concessions we got for him,” he said.

Josh Pennington contributed to the report.

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