Novak Djokovic leaves country as Australian Open begins
AO adjusts its schedule as world #1 men's tennis player says he is disappointed with Court's ruling.
Novak Djokovic flew out of Australia last night aboard a 10:30pm Emirates flight to Dubai after failing to overturn Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to cancel his visa.
Tennis Australia issued a statement on changes to the Australian Open schedule. World No. 150 Salvatore Caruso replaces Djokovic in the men’s singles draw. Djokovic had been scheduled for second night match on Rod Laver Arena after Ash Barty.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 16, 2022
Yesterday the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, James Allsop, announced the unanimous decision of a full bench of the court just before 6pm, ordering Djokovic to pay the government’s costs.
Djokovic said in a statement, “I’d like to make a brief statement to address the outcomes of today’s Court hearing,” he said. “I will now be taking some time to rest and to recuperate, before making any further comments beyond this.
“I am extremely disappointed with the ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the 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’ll co-operate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from Aus.
“I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love. I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament.
“Finally, I would like to thank my family, friends, team, supporters, fans and my fellow Serbians for your continued support. You have all been a great source of strength to me.”
Industry views suggested Nine would benefit from it all with awareness that the AO was underway at an all-time high, but ultimately still dependent on Aussies making it to the finals.
A Nine spokesperson told Mumbrella, the saga has “sure created interest” amongst the sports fans in Australia.
“The Australian Open is Australia’s #1 summer sport. The world’s greatest tennis players have descended upon Melbourne for two weeks of exhilarating viewing which starts on Monday.”
Day 1 Session
Starts 11.00am AEDT
ALEKSANDAR VUKIC (AUS) v LLOYD HARRIS (RSA) 
CAMILA OSORIO (COL) v NAOMI OSAKA (JPN) 
MARCOS GIRON (USA) v RAFAEL NADAL (ESP) 
[Q] YANNICK HANFMANN (GER) v [WC] THANASI KOKKINAKIS (AUS)
TATJANA MARIA (GER) v MARIA SAKKARI (GRE) 
BRANDON NAKASHIMA (USA) v MATTEO BERRENTTINI (ITA) 
QIANG WANG (CHN) v COCO GAUFF (USA) 
SOFIA KENIN (USA)  v MADISON KEYS (USA)
Starts 7.00pm AEDT
ASH BARTY (AUS)  v [Q] LESIA TSURENKO (UKR)
FELICIANO LOPEZ (ESP) v JOHN MILLMAN (AUS)
AJLA TOMLJANOVIC (AUS) v PAULA BADOSA (ESP) 
ALEXANDER ZVEREV (GER)  v DANIEL ALTMAIER (GER)
*Broadcast matches may be subject to change