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As Visa Decision Draws Near, Australian Open Draw Still Included Djokovic

Australian Open draw. A second round of the Australian Open official pick was made without Novak Djokovic, whose visa is now under review by the Australian government.

Concerned about Novak Djokovic’s medical exemption from Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination restrictions, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is contemplating using his discretionary power to suspend the tennis star’s visa. Catch all the most up-to-date news today in Singapore, only here!

Will they won’t they

A match against fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic, who was training and doing some crunches earlier in the day on Thursday at the Rod Laver Arena, is scheduled to take place on Monday or Tuesday for the 34-year-old defending champion.

The formal draw was delayed by much more than sixty minutes by Tennis Australia, although no explanation was given. Last week, Novak Djokovic, a vaccine skeptic, sparked outrage in Australia by announcing he will be exempt from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for the Australian Open in Melbourne.

He was held for several days in a detainment hotel for immigrants after his arrival in Australia, where he was held with other asylum seekers who had been exempted from deportation.

In case you missed the recent surge of SG news about this, officials were found to be “unreasonable” in their seven-hour interview in the dead of night, according to a court ruling on Monday.

As a result of the government’s taking a stand on border security prior to and during the outbreak, it must now determine whether or not to allow Djokovic to compete for a record 21st major championship. When asked about Djokovic’s visa on Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to answer any questions.

Inevitable mistakes

Despite Djokovic’s best efforts, an error in his initial declaration, which said that he had not traveled overseas in the 2 weeks preceding his departure for Australia, harmed his chances. He had actually traveled from Serbia to Spain according to many news Singapore sources.

It was Djokovic’s fault, but the 34-year-old now admits that he should have changed the date of an interview and photo session with a French publication set for Dec. 18 since he was infected with COVID-19.

While in custody, his supporters—many of whom were Serbian Australians—gave him loud cheers and applause. Anti-vaxxers have lauded him as a hero, and his family has painted him as an advocate of individual liberty.

However, if and when Djokovic steps onto the court, he may encounter hatred from the audience. Australia has a 90 percent vaccination rate across individuals after undergoing the world’s longest lockdowns to combat the pandemic. There is tremendous outrage among Australians.

New COVID-19 limitations, announced on Thursday in response to an uptick in cases affected by the new COVID variant, Omicron, will limit attendance in the Open’s main arenas to 50% of capacity and require masks for every spectator.

The changing room, where everyone but 3 of the top 100 people has been immunized, may also be a source of discontent.

In an interview with Australian television and Singapore news outlets, tennis legend Martina Navratilova said that Novak Djokovic should “suck it up” and return to Serbia.

The wait continues

Cristian Garn is the highest-ranked player in Djokovic’s group in the event he is able to compete, therefore he gets an encouraging draw.

On Thursday, Djokovic trained on Rod Laver alongside world number 64 Federico Coria as part of his tournament preparations. In the final part of their practice, Djokovic and Coria played points together after beginning with groundstroke drills.

In other latest Singapore news, Andy Murray will face Nikoloz Basilashvili again during the first round of the Australian Open, a rematch of their grueling triumph on Wednesday in Sydney. Rafael Nadal continues his comeback from a long-term foot ailment by taking on Marcos Giron in the second round of the Australian Open.

Both Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans will face challenging first-round opponents in Sebastian Korda and David Goffin, respectively. After correctly predicting his symptoms throughout his qualifying match on Tuesday, Bernard Tomic has been diagnosed positive for COVID, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Tomic was feeling under the weather when he played Roman Safiullin in the first qualifying round. Despite a failed quick flow test, he notified the umpire during the game that he suspected he had early symptoms of COVID.