Djovokic had COVID-19 last month

Tennis star contends that authorities should allow him to play in the Australian Open even though he is not vaccinated against the virus

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January 8, 2022 - 6:32 PM

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates his match point against Canada's Milos Raonic during their men's singles match on day seven of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia on Feb. 14, 2021. A new global coronavirus flashpoint occurred this week when Djokovic — a vocal vaccine-mandate critic — was denied entry to Australia. (William West/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

Novak Djokovic’s lawyers filed court papers Saturday in his challenge against deportation from Australia that show the tennis star tested positive for COVID-19 last month and recovered, grounds he used in applying for a medical exemption to the country’s strict vaccination rules.

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic was denied entry at the Melbourne airport late Wednesday after border officials canceled his visa for failing to meet its entry requirement that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Djokovic was given a medical exemption backed by the Victoria state government and Australian Open organizers on Jan. 1, based on information he supplied to two independent medical panels, and he was approved for a visa electronically.

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