Novak Djokovic landed in Dubai early Monday morning after being expelled from Australia.
The tennis star exited the plane with two bags and a mask after landing at 5:32 a.m. local time. Instead of starting as a star player at the Australian Open, he left Melbourne on Sunday evening after losing in a federal court in the legal dispute over his exemption.
In a written statement, the defending champion said he was “extremely disappointed with the decision”. However, he had also emphasized that he would respect them and cooperate with the responsible authorities regarding his departure. The government’s decision also includes a three-year travel ban for the nine-time Melbourne winner, but that doesn’t have to be set in stone.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hinted in a radio interview that Djokovic could return ‘in the right circumstances’. The 20-time Grand Slam winner was unvaccinated and entered the country with a medical exemption and wanted to crown himself as the sole major record winner with a triumph at the Australian Open. Only his competitor Rafael Nadal now has this chance.