Novak Djokovic was detained again in an Australian hotel and awaits a deportation hearing before the Australian Open.

Iran PressAsia: It was deja vu for Novak Djokovic on Saturday as the tennis star was detained for a second time by Australian authorities and placed back in the very same hotel he’d triumphantly left just this week.

The strange scene of the world’s top-ranked men’s player again being escorted into a hotel housing asylum seekers came on the eve of a court hearing to decide whether Djokovic will be deported or allowed to remain in the country to compete in the Australian Open, The Washington Post reported.

A day earlier, Australia’s immigration minister had canceled Djokovic’s visa for the second time on the grounds that the unvaccinated tennis player’s presence might incite anti-vaccine sentiment Down Under.

That decision, and Djokovic’s detention on Saturday, have thrown the Serbian star’s pursuit of tennis history into serious doubt and threatened to upend the Grand Slam tournament, which begins Monday.

As Djokovic’s opponents spent the morning preparing for their first matches, he spent it under guard, working with his attorneys for Sunday’s decisive showdown.

The saga began almost two weeks ago when Djokovic — who has expressed opposition to coronavirus vaccines — posted on Instagram that he was “heading Down Under with an exemption permission.”


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