Novak Djokovic breaks silence after winning appeal against Australian government: ‘I want to stay’

Novak Djokovic broke his silence and expressed his appreciation after winning his appeal against the Australian government for the cancellation of his visa.

For now, the Australian Open defense of the world’s No. 1 has returned to normal after a Federal Court hearing that spanned most of Monday ended in Djokovic’s favor.

The Serbian star was drastically denied entry to Australia despite being granted a medical exemption to travel without proof of vaccination before this year’s first Grand Slam event.

Djokovic has been detained at an Australian immigration detention hotel pending his hearing on Monday, but after winning his appeal he went straight to Rod Laver Arena, the scene of his nine open titles, for his first practice session since that arrived in Australia.

He posted a photo to Twitter on Tuesday morning Australian time, thanking his fans and stating that he is now focused on defending his Australian Open title.

“I am pleased and grateful that the judge overruled my visa cancellation. Despite everything that happened, I want to stay and try to compete in the @AustralianOpen,” wrote Djokovic.

“I’m still focused on that. I flew here to play one of the biggest events that we have in front of the amazing fans.”

“I can’t say more for now, but THANK YOU all for supporting me in all of this and encouraging me to stay strong.”

Although, despite winning his original appeal, Djokovic is not completely blameless.

Following the verdict, government attorney Andrew Tran said the federal government would now weigh its options, which include Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, using his personal power to cancel Djokovic’s visa once again.

If Djokovic has his visa canceled again by a minister, he will not be allowed to enter Australia for three years, which could see the parties go back to court once more.

It is unclear when the federal government will make the decision to use this personal power, although the judge presiding over Djokovic’s appeal on Monday suggested that this would not be the end of the matter.

“In a way, the stakes have risen rather than receded,” said Judge Anthony Kelly.

If Djokovic receives final clearance, he will be free to pursue a record 21 Grand Slam titles, overshadowing both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (20), crowning him the best player in world tennis.