Australian Open draw delayed amid uncertainty over Novak Djokovic

MELBOURNE, Australia — The Australian Open draw was delayed indefinitely on Thursday amid uncertainty over top-ranked Novak Djokovic’s visa status.

The draw, to determine men’s and women’s singles brackets at the year’s first tennis major, was scheduled to be held at 3 p.m. local time in Melbourne, but a tournament official told waiting media that the ceremony had been postponed until further notice and declined further comment.

The Australian Open begins Monday.

The Australian immigration minister was still considering whether to deport the nine-time and defending Australian Open champion, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, on public interest grounds.

Djokovic remained in limbo.

The 34-year-old Serb had his visa canceled on arrival in Melbourne last week when his vaccination exemption was questioned, but he won a legal battle on procedural grounds that allowed him to stay in the country.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has been considering the question since a judge reinstated Djokovic’s visa on Monday.

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