SEN tennis expert Brett Phillips believes there’s still a lot to play out before Novak Djokovic officially is free to play in the Australian Open.
The world number one was originally detained at Melbourne airport where border officials claimed that his COVID-19 vaccination exemption was invalid.
Despite having his decision to revoke his visa overturned in court, Phillips says recent “murmurings” in the tennis community signal that the fiasco isn’t over just yet.
“There’s some murmuring going around today, obviously the Immigration Minister is going to do this at his own pace,” Phillips said on SEN Breakfast.
“We’re getting to Wednesday, we’re getting closer, you feel like some call needs to be made.
“There are some murmurings that they might try to strike a deal with Djokovic, where they say, ‘Listen, depart this year, leave Australia and we won’t enforce the three year ban’.
“(The three-year ban) is something they can do obviously when they revoke a visa.
“There’s some views on the incorrect details on filling out the border form yesterday, it’s not the worst case scenario in some people’s eyes.”
While the Immigration Minister has the power to force Djokovic to leave the country, Phillips says a decision like that will only lead to further court proceedings.
“There’s a bit more to play out, even if the Immigration Minister says we’re going to revoke your visa it’ll go back to court,” Phillips said.
“There’s still a lot to play out here, whether he plays in the Australian Open, I don’t know.
“The draw comes out tomorrow night, the seedings have been placed yesterday, so there needs to be some call on this.”
The Australian Open is due to begin next Monday on January 17.
Djokovic is aiming to win his 10th title at Melbourne Park and his 21st grand slam title overall.