Novak Djokovic pictured before the court hearing in Melbourne. Reuters
The world number one player left Australia late on Sunday after the Federal Court upheld a government decision to cancel his visa, capping days of drama over the country's COVID-19 entry rules and his unvaccinated status.
Under immigration law, Djokovic cannot be granted another visa for three years unless Australia's immigration minister accepts there are compelling or compassionate reasons.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends an event. File photo
"I'm not going to precondition any of that or say anything that would not enable the minister to make the various calls he has to make," Morrison told 2GB radio on Monday as Djokovic was en route to Dubai.
"It does go over a three-year period, but there is the opportunity for (a person) to return in the right circumstances, and that will be considered at the time."
The unanimous ruling by a three-judge Federal Court bench dealt a final blow to Djokovic's hopes of chasing a record 21st Grand Slam win at the Australian Open, which starts on Monday, dismaying his family and supporters.
In a rollercoaster ride, the world's top men's player was first detained by immigration authorities on Jan. 6, ordered released by a court on Jan. 10 and then detained again on Saturday pending Sunday's court hearing.
Djokovic, 34, said he was extremely disappointed by the ruling but he respected the court's decision.
"I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and the tournament I love," Djokovic said in a statement before flying out of Melbourne.
With foreign students worth about A$35 billion ($25.3 billion) a year to the Australian economy, Canberra had hoped to slowly allow overseas students to return in 2021. Trials began earlier this year.
Australia has committed to removing the vast majority of social distancing restrictions imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19 by July, while nearly A$70 billion of government aid is scheduled to finish in September.
A media conference by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to announce a new stimulus package briefly turned comical on Thursday when he and reporters were told by a homeowner to get off a newly reseeded lawn.
Jos Buttler’s record-equaling fourth century in this Indian Premier League lifted Rajasthan Royals to their first final with a thumping seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday.
Pacer Asitha Fernando (6/51) down an incisive and decisive spell after lunch on the final day of the second Test to break a crucial partnership and trigger a collapse as Sri Lanka thrashed hosts Bangladesh by 10 wickets to win the two-match series 1-0.
It is Liverpool's third Champions League final in five seasons, after they followed their 3-1 loss to Real in Kyiv by beating Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid a year later, and they are widely seen as slight favourites at the Stade de France to become kings of Europe for a seventh time.