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As Djokovic hearing unfolds amid streaming fails, reactionaries flock to the tennis star’s cause

Jan 10, 2022

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The fiasco has taught the world a few things about Australia — and not just that our internet infrastructure is crummy.

Men's tennis champ Novak Djokovic (Image: John Walton/PA Wire)

The Federal Circuit Court simply wasn’t ready for Novak Djokovic. At 10am --, the scheduled start time for a hearing to determine whether the tennis star would be allowed to stay in Australia, the livestream buckled under the weight of demand from journalists, legal observers and Djokovic stans the world over -- forcing a delay in proceedings.

Many of those foreign observers who persevered, through numerous interruptions, and aided by bootleg links spread through Twitter DMs and a tennis podcast’s YouTube livestream, might have been a little bored and confused. Djokovic’s barrister Nick Wood SC took Judge Anthony Kelly through a series of highly technical provisions of the Migration Act, as he sought to establish the home affairs minister and Border Force did not have valid grounds to cancel the Serbian pro’s visa. 

But amid the hours of dense legalese, two key bright spots emerged for Djokovic. Kelly appeared troubled by treatment of a medical exemption provided to Djokovic by Tennis Australia.

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About the Author

Kishor Napier-Raman

Politics Reporter

Kishor is a federal politics reporter for Crikey, based in the Canberra press gallery. He writes news and analysis with a focus on foreign policy, legal affairs and government transparency. Previously, he was a general reporter in Crikey's Sydney office, where he started in 2018 while completing an arts/law degree at the University of Sydney.

Kishor Napier-Raman — Politics Reporter

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