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Novak Djokovic visa battle live weblog: D-day for detained tennis star as lawyers launch Federal Court appeal

The day Novak Djokovic will learn his fate has finally arrived, in a case that has captured the world’s attention and divided a nation.

Djokovic’s team of lawyers will make an urgent last-ditch appeal before the Federal Court to stop the detained tennis star from being deported after an increasingly convoluted visa debacle.

The player is due to play his first-round Australian Open match tomorrow.

Novak Djokovic
Camera IconNovak Djokovic still faces uncertainty as to whether he can compete in the Australian Open. Credit: AAP

Last night the 20-time grand slam title winner spent his fifth night in a detention hotel in Melbourne after a Federal Government decision to cancel his visa for a second time.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke detailed his grounds for the cancellation, citing he believed it to be “in the public interest to do so”.

His full list of reasons was published as part of a 268-page affidavit released by the Federal Court on Saturday.

In it, Mr Hawke suggested the unvaccinated player’s presence during the Australian Open could encourage Australians to shun isolation rules and foster “anti-vaccination sentiment”.

This – he argued – could lead to civil unrest akin to previous anti-vaccination protests and fewer people getting their booster jab.

Djokovic’s lawyers briefly fronted the Federal Court on Saturday morning for a case management hearing ahead of today’s appeal.

The hearing is due to begin at 6.30am AWST, but is subject to delays.

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