Novak Djokovic is closer to competing in the Australian Open tennis tournament after a judge ordered his release from immigration detention.

  • “I am pleased and grateful that the judge overturned my visa cancellation,” he wrote on Instagram. “Despite all that has happened in the past week, I want to stay and to try to compete at the Australian Open. I remain focused on that.
  • “I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans. For now I cannot say more but THANK YOU for standing with me through all this and encouraging me to stay strong.”
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Djokovic was denied entry into Australia after he received a COVID-19 vaccine medical exemption. Per ESPN, Australia denied the tennis star’s entry into the country and canceled his visa because he had not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

After facing a visa issue upon arriving in Australia, he was detained there. Authorities canceled his visa Thursday before he had a chance to speak with the tournament’s organizations, according to The New York Times.

However, Jokovic won’t necessarily compete in the upcoming tournament, which begins Monday.

  • The Australian immigration minister could cancel his visa, which would mean he’d be banned from the country for three years.