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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Tennis star Novak Djokovic faces deportation again after the Australian government revoked his visa for a second time.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said Friday he used his ministerial discretion to revoke the 34-year-old Serb’s visa on public interest grounds three days before the Australian Open is to begin.
Djokovic’s lawyers are expected to appeal the cancelation in the Federal Circuit and Family Court as they successfully did after the first cancellation.
It is the second time Djokovic’s visa has been canceled since he arrived in Melbourne last week to defend his Australian Open title.
His exemption from a COVID-19 vaccination requirement to compete was approved by the Victoria state government and Tennis Australia, the tournament organizer. That apparently allowed him to receive a visa to travel.
But the Australian Border Force rejected the exemption and canceled his visa upon arrival in Melbourne. He spent four nights in hotel detention before a judge on Monday overturned that decision.
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Consumer Confidence Dragged Down As Bidenflation and Omicron Crush Hope
Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis are taking the Australian Open by storm
(CNN)Had you taken a stroll past the Kia Arena in Melbourne this week, you could have been forgiven for assuming that a rock and roll festival was taking place.
If somebody then corrected you and said that the din was actually coming from a singles tennis
match at the Australian Open you might have thought perhaps Ashleigh Barty or Rafa Nadal were playing.In fact, the racket was coming from an Australian Open men's doubles
quarterfinal. The headline act? 'Special K,' otherwise known as Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
The Australian wildcard duo have whipped fans into a frenzy throughout their unlikely journey into the semifinals of their home grand slam, peaking with a raucous 7-5 3-6 6-3 quarterfinal victory over Tim Puetz and Michael Venus at a packed Kia Arena on Tuesday.
Hype men to the crowd, chest bumps, Cristiano Ronaldo tribute acts -- to highlight the tennis alone would not do justice to the spectacle the Australian pair have provided.Read More
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis have brought a new level of showmanship to the Australian Open doubles competition.Arguably doubles has an awkward place in the tennis world -- with singles events consistently taking precedence in both prize money and coverage -- which makes the attention and adulation that the duo are garnering all the more impressive.Yet for Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, their relationship with the crowd
is a symbiotic one, and forms the crux of their motivation to perform."This Australian Open, honestly for us, it's more about the people
-- playing for them is more important than our doubles success, Kyrgios said."We haven't drawn up any goals of what we wanna achieve this year in doubles, I just wanna play and give the people of Australia and the Australian Open a show and genuinely try and grow the sport of tennis. "That's why I'm playing, and I know Thanasi is just enjoying it -- this is the most fun we've ever had on the court."The thrill for us is honestly walking out there. This sounds stupid but we worry what happens in the match after," Kokkinakis added."Seeing the support we've got and then the crowd going nuts every time we go out there and how much they're enjoying it, that gets us going and gets us motivated to do better for them."
Kyrgios (bottom C) gives a racket to a boy he had hit with a tennis ball.Tears and cheersA perfect encapsulation of the pair's connection with the Melbourne crowd -- as well as Kyrgios' enigmatic personality -- came early in the first set of the quarterfinal when the 26-year-old ferociously lashed a returning dead ball into the crowd after a let serve.The ball struck a child, bringing him to tears, with a mortified Kyrgios covering his mouth in shock. After a brief chat with Kokkinakis, Kyrgios jogged over to the stand to hand over a token of apology to a boy who -- though admittedly still a little watery-eyed -- now brandished a smile, a new racket, and a monster of a story to share at school. The subsequent warm ripple of applause from the crowd was a response the oft-dubbed 'bad boy of tennis' has not always received. On court antics have at times marred an undoubtedly talented career -- an immaturity he admits to -- with Kyrgios telling CNN last year that he had a "love-hate" relationship with the sport.
Six years after his grandmother passed away, Nick Kyrgios grapples with demonsYet this doubles run looks to have really fired up Kyrgios and there can be no doubt which side of "love-hate" this year's crowd falls on -- especially the swathe of young fans that have packed into the duo's games at Melbourne Park."There's no way around it, me and Thanasi are definitely role models to the youth in Australia, we obviously attract that crowd," Kyrgios said."I know that over the years i haven't been the best role model but I was just learning how to deal with everything and i think now at 26 i've matured and I definitely realized that a lot of young kids and people -- even people that are low on confidence -- they do look towards us when we go out there."We're not special people, we're normal humans that you might see walking in Australia ... I think we're just relatable, that's what's the best thing about it."
Kokkinakis (L) and Kyrgios celebrate after beating Puetz and Venus.RelatableFor the 26-year-old Krygios, difference is the keyword to his place in the sport."Tennis has always had personalities, I've said this before but I think they just struggled to understand that there are different ways to go about it.
"You've got Roger Federer and these guys that are just once in a generation athletes -- I can't be like that, we're not like that, there has to be people that are a little more relatable."Ability aside, Krygios and Kokkinakis are putting on a once in a generation spectacle at the Australian Open -- just spare a thought for Melbourne's lovers of peace and quiet should they go all the way.