MELBOURNE, Australia – The Australian Open draw was delayed by at least 75 minutes on Thursday due to uncertainty surrounding Novak Djokovic’s visa status.
The draw, to determine the men’s and women’s singles brackets at the first major tennis tournament of the year, was due to take place at 3 p.m. local time in Melbourne, but a tournament official told media on hold that the ceremony had been postponed until further notice and declined further. comment.
It was then rescheduled for 4:15 p.m. local time.
The Australian Open starts on Monday. Djokovic traveled to Australia in an attempt to win a 21st Grand Slam title to break the men’s record of 20 he shares with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Australia’s Immigration Minister was still considering expelling the nine-time defending Australian Open champion, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, for reasons of public interest.
Djokovic remained in limbo.
The 34-year-old Serb had his visa canceled upon arriving in Melbourne last week when his immunization exemption was called into question, but he won a legal battle over procedural reasons that allowed him to stay in the country.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke can overturn the judge’s decision to reinstate the visa.