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New wrinkle - travel declaration made by top-ranked tennis star Novak Djokovic raising questions about his compliance with Australia's COVID-19 rules

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Dijana Djokovic
Novak Djokovic
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Scott Morrison
Ana Brnabić
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He traveled to Australia from Marbella, Spain.Djokovic told border officers that Tennis Australia completed the declaration for him, but the officer who canceled his visa said that the body would have done that based on information from Djokovic himself.It was not clear whether the document came up during Monday's hearing.The form notes that giving false or misleading information is a serious offense -- and it could be grounds for deportation.The drama has polarized opinions and has elicited strong support for the 20-time Grand Slam winner in his native Serbia.Morrison spoke about the issue with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić on Tuesday, and they agreed to keep in touch."The PM explained our non-discriminatory border policy and its role in protecting Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic," Morrison's office said in a statement.Brnabić asked Morrison to ensure Djokovic was treated with dignity, public broadcaster Radio Television of Serbia reported."The prime minister especially emphasized the importance of the conditions for training and physical preparation for the upcoming competition," RTS reported.The drama has put Morrison's government in a tight spot ahead of elections due by May. While his government was widely praised for containing the nation's COVID-19 death toll at the start of the pandemic, he has recently been criticized for loosening some rules just as omicron cases have been rapidly surging.The opposition home affairs spokesperson, Kristina Keneally, blamed the visa confusion on a lack of planning by Morrison's government and said the saga made Australia "look like a bit of a joke" on the world stage."It does incredible damage to Australia" if Djokovic gets deported, Keneally told the Seven Network television, but "if he gets to stay, it does incredible damage to our tough border laws and is a real insult to the Australians who did the hard work of lockdowns and vaccination."Andy Murray, who lost four Australian Open finals to Djokovic, said that the court win was a "positive" for his fellow major winner but that there were still details to clarify."I'm sure we'll hear from him in the next few days," Murray said.

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