World number one Novak Djokovic had scored a stunning courtroom victory on Monday, overturning the Australian government's decision to cancel his visa on Covid-19 vaccination grounds.

Djokovic's case drew international attention, creating a political spat between Canberra and Belgrade and fuelling heated debates over mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policies.
Djokovic's case drew international attention, creating a political spat between Canberra and Belgrade and fuelling heated debates over mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policies. (Reuters)

Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic has trained at the Australian Open venue in search of a record 21st Grand Slam but his dream hung in the balance as the government pondered cancelling his visa, again. 

Djokovic was back in training hours after winning that court challenge, thanking the judge who released him from immigration detention and saying he remained focused on trying to win a record 21st tennis major at next week's Australian Open.

The unvaccinated 34-year-old Serbian ace now says he is determined to stay in Melbourne and compete in the Australian Open, which starts in just six days.

"I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans," Djokovic said on Instagram Monday.

Djokovic's plight drew international attention, creating a political spat between Canberra and Belgrade and fuelling heated debates over mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policies. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's office said he spoke with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic on Monday. 

Morrison's office said the Australian leader had "explained our non-discriminatory border policy," while Serbian media reports said Brnabic emphasised the importance of Djokovic being able to prepare for the tournament. Both said they agreed to stay in contact on the issue. 

Discretionary powers

John Alexander, a member of Morrison's Liberal Party and a former professional tennis player, said it would be a mistake for Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to use his discretionary powers to deport the Serbian player. 

READ MORE: Djokovic wins stunning victory in Australia visa case, his release ordered

To do so would "diminish" the status of the Australian Open, Alexander said.

"We had previously been the poor cousin of the four events," he said. "We've got a lot going for us, but we need to treat it carefully."

Hawke's office said late on Monday the minister was still considering whether he would use his discretion under the Migration Act to cancel Djokovic's visa for a second time. 

The ATP, the governing body of men's tennis applauded the court ruling, saying the dispute was "damaging on all fronts, including for Novak's well-being and preparation for the Australian Open."

The ATP said the situation highlighted the need for clearer understanding and communication of the rules. It said it strongly recommends all players get vaccinated and noted that 97% of the top 100 players are vaccinated.

READ MORE: Court hears Djokovic's bid to stay in Australia after visa furore

Source: TRTWorld and agencies