Will Novak Djokovic be allowed to play? Australian Open authorities undecided after court ruling

Tennis authorities in Melbourne try to decide if Novak Djokovic should be cleared to compete in the Australian Open

                            Will Novak Djokovic be allowed to play?  Australian Open authorities undecided after court ruling
Novak Djokovic plays a backhand during a Davis Cup match (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Security arrangements are being reviewed and strengthened at the Australian Open after Serbian fans began protesting while tennis authorities in Melbourne are yet to decide whether they are going to let Novak Djokovic compete in the tournament. Protesters also included anti-vaxxers and authorities at the Australian Open have decided to tighten security. Police officers had to deal with angry Serbian fans after a scuffle broke out between them and the police in the city's business district. Protesters were even pepper-sprayed after it was revealed that Djokovic might be put back into detention despite the court permitting him to compete.

Djokovic's participation in the Australian Open is not yet certain and also is less likely to be certain although the court ruling had overturned the Border Force's decision to rip up his visa. The tournament authorities have decided that if Djokovic is allowed to participate, Tenis Australia shall move to avoid scenes that marred the tournament. In a 2007 incident, fans of rival players from Balkan countries clashed and Melbourne Park's Garden Square was the site of a mass brawl between Serbians and Croatians.  


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Novak Djokovic of Serbia leaves the court following his loss in the Men's Single's Second Semi-Final match against Alexander Zverev of Germany on Day Seven of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at Pala Alpitour on November 20, 2021 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Fans have been aprticularly upset after Judge Anthony Kelly ruled that Djokovic should be either detained or deported after he was refused entry. Back in Belgrade, Djokovik's father Srdjan gave a press conference where he said, "I call on Queen Elizabeth, the leader of the Commonwealth, to intervene and protect the human rights of my son and to stop the political prosecution carried out against him since he came to Australia."

Alex Hawk, Minister of Office of Immigration and a close ally of Prime Minister Scott Morrison. "It remains within immigration minister Hawke's discretion to consider cancelling Mr Djokovic's visa under his personal power of cancellation within the Migration Act. The minister is considering the matter and the process remains ongoing." Hawk's spokesman said, establishing at once that he could override the technical view of the court that the law was not followed in stopping Djokovic at the border.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand shot against Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan during the Davis Cup Quarter Final between Serbia and Kazakhstan at Madrid Arena on December 01, 2021 in Madrid, Spain (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Djokovic, who has been unable to exercise for a week since leaving his base in Marvella, headed straight to the Melbourne Park to practice after the judge had handed him the verdict.

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