Australian Open draw delayed amid uncertainty over Novak Djokovic's visa status

MELBOURNE, Australia – The Australian Open draw was postponed for at least 75 minutes on Thursday as the visa status of front runner Novak Djokovic is uncertain.

The draw to determine the men’s and women’s singles in the first tennis major of the year was due to take place at 3 p.m. local time in Melbourne, but a tournament official told the waiting media that the ceremony had been postponed until further notice and was further declined Comment.

It was later moved to 4:15 p.m. local time.

The Australian Open begins on Monday. Djokovic traveled to Australia to win a 21st Grand Slam title to break the men’s record of 20 that he shared with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The Australian immigration minister was still considering whether to deport the nine-time and reigning Australian Open winner, who is not vaccinated against Covid-19, for reasons of public interest.

Djokovic remained suspended.

The 34-year-old Serb had his visa canceled on arriving in Melbourne last week as his vaccination waiver was questioned, but he won a legal battle on procedural grounds that allowed him to stay in the country.

Immigration Secretary Alex Hawke can override the judge’s decision to reinstate the visa.

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