Novak Djokovic’s Australia visa was canceled for the second time today, putting his participation in the Australian Open in doubt once again and potentially sparking another legal showdown.
Here’s what this means and what could happen next, according to legal experts.
Could Djokovic appeal again? Yes, the tennis star could apply for a temporary injunction from the judge, said Justin Quill, a partner at an Australian law firm in Melbourne. During that extra time, he could stay in the country and appeal the decision.
But “he can’t appeal just because he wants to appeal,” Quill added: Djokovic would have to prove to the judge that he has valid grounds to protest the decision.
Can Djokovic play in the tournament during the legal proceedings? It’s not clear yet: The Australian Open starts on Monday, with Djokovic drawn against fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in a first-round match that now appears to be in doubt.
What options does Djokovic have? Maria Jockel, an immigration law specialist at BDO Australia, told CNN that Djokovic’s lawyers now have 28 days to make representations to the immigration minister, who could then choose to reinstate the visa.
During that time, Djokovic could be detained again unless the minister grants him a bridging visa, which could allow him to play at the Open while he awaits a decision or makes arrangements to leave Australia, Jockel said.
Djokovic’s lawyers could also go to court, but they would face a difficult legal battle, especially given that he admitted earlier this week that false information was included in his travel statement, Jockel said.
The statement said that he had not traveled in the 14 days prior to his arrival in Melbourne, but photos taken during that period appear to show him in both Spain and Serbia.
In a statement on Wednesday, Djokovic called it a “human error.”