On the heels of posting to social media that he’s all set to defend his three straight titles at the Australian Open following his COVID-19 vaccination exemption, Novak Djokovic now has a problem with his visa.

The medical exemption permitted Djokovic entry to the tournament regardless of his vaccination status, but now, with stricter border regulations in place, a mistake with his visa application has thrown a wrench into the process.

Local newspapers reported that the top-ranked Djokovic landed Wednesday around midnight local time at Tullamarine Airport, but his entry was denied by immigration officials and he is now being held in detention while he waits for a court to her his appeal.

Local government mandated that only fully vaccinated players, staff, fans and officials could enter Melbourne Park when the tournament starts on January 17. Many wondered why Djokovic could enter, but tournament director Craig Tiley defended the “completely legitimate application and process” and insisted there was no special treatment.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews clarified that the Australian Border Force would have the final say.

“While the Victorian government and Tennis Australia may permit a nonvaccinated player to compete in the Australian Open, it is the Commonwealth government that will enforce our requirements at the Australian border,” Andrews said. “If an arriving individual is not vaccinated, they must provide acceptable proof that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons to be able to access the same travel arrangement as fully vaccinated travelers.”

When asked again about Djokovic’s case, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “If that evidence is insufficient, then he won’t be treated any different to anyone else and he’ll be on the next plane home.

“And so if medical exemptions had been provided by medical professionals and that’s been furnished to him as a proviso for him to get on that plane, well, that will have to stack up when he arrives in Australia.”

Djokovic tested positive for the coronavirus in 2020 after he played in a series of exhibition matches that he organized in Serbia and Croatia.

Officials say 26 people connected to the Australian Open applied for a medical exemption, but they estimated only about five were granted.

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