Novak Djokovic has lost his fight to stay in Australia, as three Federal Court judges on Sunday upheld the decision to revoke his visa for the second time. The unvaccinated tennis star had been waiting for the judges to determine whether he would be allowed to stay to launch his title-defending bid at the Australian Open on Monday.

Djokovic was ordered to be deported from Australia on Sunday after the government argued his presence would stoke “anti-vaccine sentiment.”

The top-ranked tennis star released a statement shortly after the decision by the three Federal Court judges to uphold a decision made on Friday by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to cancel the 34-year-old Serb’s visa on public interest grounds because he is not vaccinated for COVID-19.

“I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open.

I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country.” 

Djokovic has won nine of his 20 Grand Slam trophies at the Australian Open — including three in a row — and was scheduled to play on Monday, with his first-round match against fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic for the evening session.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a statement late on Sunday saying he welcomed the decision to deport the Serbian tennis star.

“To keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe . . . Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected.”

A report by 7NEWS:

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