Australian authorities scrambled on Sunday to file a legal defence of their decision to bar entry to tennis world number one Novak Djokovic over his Covid-19 vaccination status, as the Serbian superstar spent his fourth day in immigration detention.
Djokovic was hoping to win his 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open, starting next week, but instead of training has been confined to a hotel used to accommodate asylum seekers. He is challenging the decision to cancel his visa after being stopped on arrival at Melbourne Airport early on Thursday.
A vocal opponent of vaccine mandates, Djokovic had declined to reveal his vaccination status or reason for seeking a medical exemption from Australia's vaccine rules. He broke his silence on Saturday with a legal challenge saying he had been granted an exemption due to contracting - and recovering from - the virus in December.
The Melbourne drama has rocked world tennis, caused tensions between Serbia and Australia and become a flashpoint for opponents of vaccine mandates around the world.