Djokovic loses appeal, won't play Aussie

(AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia on Sunday after losing a bid to stay in the country to defend his Australian Open title despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19.

A masked Djokovic was photographed in a Melbourne airport lounge with two government officials in black uniforms before he left for Dubai. It's not clear where he will go from there. Among the possibilities are Spain, Monaco or his native Serbia, where he has an almost iconic status and would likely be greeted with a hero's welcome.

The No. 1-ranked tennis star has spent the past 10 days at the center of a dizzying drama over his vaccination status that has polarized opinion worldwide and struck a chord in Australia, where coronavirus cases are surging.

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2022 ATP Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 N. Djokovic 11,015
2 D. Medvedev 8,935
3 A. Zverev 7,970
4 S. Tsitsipas 6,540
5 A. Rublev 4,990
6 R. Nadal 4,875
7 M. Berrettini 4,603
8 C. Ruud 4,155
9 F. Auger-Aliassime 3,653
10 H. Hurkacz 3,636
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2022 WTA Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 A. Barty 8,051
2 A. Sabalenka 6,351
3 G. Muguruza 5,635
4 B. Krejcikova 5,008
5 K. Pliskova 4,666
6 M. Sakkari 4,385
7 A. Kontaveit 4,351
8 I. Swiatek 3,971
9 P. Badosa 3,849
10 O. Jabeur 3,455
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