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Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open saga: Where do things stand now?

Novak Djokovic’s hopes of defending his Australian Open title are in severe doubt after he was detained again in Melbourne on Saturday, just two days before the start of the Grand Slam.

It came after Australian authorities ripped up his visa for a second time.

A federal court hearing is scheduled for Sunday as the Serbian, unvaccinated against Covid-19, fights against deportation.

Here’s a look at where it leaves the Australian Open:

– Is Djokovic still in the draw? –

The 34-year-old is chasing a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam, which would make him the most successful men’s tennis player in history. He was named the top seed and remains in the draw to face fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, ranked 78th in the world, in the first round on Monday. He would be expected to play on Rod Laver Arena, the biggest venue at Melbourne Park.

– What happens if he is deported? –

If he is deported, the Australian Open will be missing its defending champion. It does not massively change the draw, but it would need to be reconfigured. According to the rules, the most likely outcome would be that the fifth seed, in this case Russia’s Andrey Rublev, takes Djokovic’s place. In terms of favourites for the championship, Djokovic’s absence would…

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