January 17, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

The Australian Open visa saga, which has put the event on global front pages for over a week before it has even begun, has concluded with the men’s top ranked player, Novak Djokovic, deported from Australia late last night after having his second visa cancellation decision upheld by a full bench of three judges in Federal Court late yesterday afternoon.

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and the Federal Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke, who made the decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa for the second time, both praised the decision, with other reactions mixed around the world.

With the matter now wrapped up, major global media outlets like the New York Times and the BBC focussed more on Djokovic and his actions, rather than Australia’s immigration policies, which may help negate any reputational damage to Australia for the saga, although locally, Australia’s second most visited news site news.com.au was carrying a highly visible opinion piece this morning suggesting the incident may have ramifications for Tennis Australia’s CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director, Craig Tiley, as well as for the Tennis Australia board.

In the tennis world, some – including the men’s tennis association the ATP – have expressed views that episode has not done this year’s Grand Slam in Melbourne any favours.

The Grand Slam kicked off today without a number of the big ticket players in both the men’s and women’s draw – aside from Djokovic’s deportation, Roger Federer is out with an injury and Serena Williams is also not playing, due to medical advice and not being in ideal physical condition.

Last Thursday, just four days before the Australian Open kicked off, the Victorian Government announced ticket sales for the event would be scaled back to 50 percent of capacity on the two most high profile courts, due to the state’s Omicron outbreak.