A Federal Court unanimously rejected Novak Djokovic’s appeal to remain in Australia and defend his Australian Open crown on Sunday, January 16.

The attempt to overturn his deportation has fallen flat and the Serbian world number 1 star has to leave Australia. He has also been told to pay legal costs. 

An emergency hearing was held two days ago after the Australian government cancelled Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time in an attempt to deport the unvaccinated tennis superstar. 

In a statement posted on social media earlier this week, Djokovic said that ‘human error’ was behind the mistake on his documents that prevented him entry in Australia. The reigning Australian Open champion was held in immigration detention in Melbourne for several days and questioned about his medical exemption from the requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The Serb allegedly failed to report his recent travel history. The government weighed whether to deport the player.

Also read: Why are athletes like Novak Djokovic reluctant about COVID19 vaccine?

Here is a complete timeline of events: 

January 4, 2022: Novak Djokovic leaves for Australia. 

Tennis Australia follows in a statement confirming that the Serb is travelling with a medcal exemption. 

January 5, 2022: Djokovic arrives at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport.

January 6, 2022: The World No 1 is detained for about eight hours upon arrival. He is denied entry to the country and his visa is cancelled. The 34-year-old is then sent to an immigration hotel.  

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweets: “Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders.”

The Australian Border Force says Djokovic failed to meet entry requirements.

Also read: Analysis: Novak Djokovic still has plenty of questions to answer

January 10, 2022: Djokovic submits an affidavit that says he is not vaccinated for COVID-19.

Federal Circuit Court orders Djokovic’s release from immigration detention.

The government lawyer says the immigration minister can still deport the player. 

January 11, 2022:  Djokovic is confirmed as the No. 1 seed for the men’s field at the Australian Open. 

January 12, 2022: Djokovic acknowledges a mistake on his travel declaration for Australia, which failed to indicate that he had been in multiple countries over the prior two weeks.

January 14: Djokovic’s visa is cancelled for a second time. 

The Serbian seeks injunction against Australian deportation, with his lawyer and appealed for him to be allowed to stay out of immigration detention. 

Australia agreed to delay the deportation till after the hearing.  

January 16: Judge rejects Novak Djokovic’s last-minute appeal to remain in Australia. 

January 17, 2022: Play is scheduled to begin at Melbourne Park.

With inputs from the Associated Press