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Live Reporting

Edited by Joel Gunter

All times stated are UK

  1. Thanks for tuning in

    Thanks for following our coverage of the Djokovic court battle. We are now pausing our live reporting.

    The tennis star is out of detention and preparing for the Australian Open tennis tournament. But he is not yet out of the woods, with Australia's immigration minister warning that further action could be taken.

    It comes as Djokovic's family refused to answer questions about the tennis player being pictured at public events, in the days after he tested positive.

    You can keep up to date with the main story here.

  2. Man tells of nine-year hotel detention

    Lucy Hockings

    BBC World News presenter

    Mehdi Ali

    Mehdi Ali arrived in Australia when he was 15. Nine years later, he is still in detention in the same hotel where Novak Djokovic was held.

    He tells me he is being treated "cruelly and unjustly" by Australian authorities. He says he has had toothache for months and has not been given any treatment.

    "The cruel uncertainty that we might get out tomorrow, we might never get out is affecting my mental health harshly," he says.

    His story highlights the growing concern about the treatment of asylum seekers and the uncertainty about their future.

    And it comes after other detainees told the BBC of "inhumane conditions" at the hotel where one man says his food had maggots in it and another said he spent 23 hours a day in a room that felt like a "coffin".

    The Australian Border Force and Home Affairs Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Australia's Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews MP told the BBC: "We treat all people who are in immigration detention fairly and equitably.”

  3. Why is Djokovic such a polarising player?

    Sonia Oxley

    BBC Sport

    Novak Djokovic reacts to the crowd during a match at the 2021 US Open

    Novak Djokovic has won a record-equalling 20 men's Grand Slam titles and is a world number one with jaw-dropping athleticism - but he is also one of his sport's most polarising figures.

    He was able to return to the tennis court on Monday after a judge dramatically overturned the decision to cancel his visa, though Immigration Minister Alex Hawke could still invoke his ministerial power to re-cancel it.

    Whether or not that happens, the events of the past week have made him an even more divisive player.

    Read more: Why Novak Djokovic is such a polarising player

  4. Could Djokovic be blocked from future Grand Slams?

    Djokovic at Wimbledon
    Image caption: Djokovic has won six Wimbledon titles

    While there's still a chance Djokovic may not play at the Australian Open in Melbourne next week, some are asking if the men's world number one - who is unvaccinated - could face problems at future tennis Grand Slams.

    The French Open is due to be held in May, while Wimbledon begins in June.

    But French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu has said the situation in Melbourne would not be repeated in Paris, as France does not have the same entry rules as Australia.

    "He will still be able to take part in the competition because the protocols and the health bubble will allow it," she tells France Info, adding vaccination is not currently compulsory to enter France.

    Meanwhile, under the current rules, anyone arriving in England who has not been vaccinated must quarantine for at least five days.

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to be drawn on whether he thinks Djokovic should be allowed to compete at Wimbledon - only saying he "believes in vaccination".

  5. Djokovic uncertainty an issue for Open organisers

    The Australian Open draw takes place on Thursday, so the continued uncertainty about Novak Djokovic's participation is a headache for organisers.

    Even though the world number one has had his visa cancellation overturned and he has already been pictured on court, Australia's immigration minister still has powers to deport the tennis player.

    Players regularly withdraw from tournaments at short notice, through injury for example, so that is not a major issue for organisers.

    However, Djokovic's absence would be significant because he is such a huge name.

    The Serb has won a record nine men's singles titles in Melbourne and, if he wins again this month, he will become the most successful men's player in history, moving ahead of Switzerland's Roger Federer and Spain's Rafael Nadal to 21 Grand Slam titles.

    Novak Djokovic competing at the Australian Open
  6. Government won't back down - immigration lawyer

    Daniel Estrin

    Immigration lawyer Daniel Estrin told the BBC that Djokovic's case wasn't unusual. Estrin said he sees many clients deported after failing to provide further evidence in the 20-minute window allotted to them at the airport.

    Unlike Djokovic though, they don't have the means to defend their cases.

    Immigration minister Alex Hawkes has the power to cancel Djokovic's visa in the coming days, and Estrin said he thought it was likely it would be cancelled on a matter of principle.

    Estrin said it was "appropriate that the minister is able to cancel the visas of high-risk individuals were it in the public interest to do so" and that was likely to be the justification used if Djokovic is deported.

  7. Djokovic fans relieved but reeling after a long day

    Simon Atkinson

    BBC News, Melbourne

    Fan Milos Savic
    Image caption: Milos Savic - one of the Djokovic fans in Melbourne late this evening

    It's past 01:00 in Federation Square in the heart of Melbourne - and most of the congregated Djokovic faithful have now left.

    Earlier, scattered fans - many of them with Serbian roots - watched the press conference given by their hero’s family on their phones, kindly translating for me.

    “They say that Nole heard us outside the hotel, so the last four days have not been wasted," one Djokovic fan told me, a little emotionally. “I’m tired.”

    News that the world number one has already been on the court practising was a surprise to Milos Savic “Wow, that’s encouraging “ he said. “We love this time of year because we love going to the tennis to see Novak Djokovic. The fact he could not play was stressful.”

    His friend Danijela Ljiljak was still a bit shell-shocked by a dizzying day. “I have been happy, sad, angry and confused over the last few hours. I don’t know what to feel, we’re all over the place.”

    Fans watch Djokovic family press conference
  8. What's happened so far today?

    A fan holds a picture of Novak Djokovic

    It’s been a hectic day in the Novak Djokovic Melbourne saga so here’s a roundup of what has happened so far:

    • The tennis star won his appeal against the cancellation of his visa and will be allowed to stay in Australia. A judge ruled that border officials did not follow the correct procedures when the tennis star arrived in Melbourne last week
    • He was released from detention shortly after but did not appear in public for hours and hours
    • Djokovic was expected to join a news conference called by his family in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, but did not, tweating instead a picture of himself and coaching staff at the Australian Open venue
    • He says he is focusing on the tournament, which begins on 17 January
    • The drama may not be over though, as Australia’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke says he hasn’t ruled out invoking his ministerial power and cancelling the star's visa
    • At the press conference, Djokovic’s family refused to answer questions about the tennis player being pictured at indoor public events in the days after he tested positive
  9. Analysis

    Djokovic not able to relax just yet

    Russell Fuller

    Tennis correspondent in Melbourne

    That late-night practice session at Melbourne Park must have been one of the most exhilarating of Novak Djokovic’s career.

    Having won in an altogether different court earlier in the day - with the judge expressing sympathy throughout - Djokovic's hopes of a 10th Australian Open title are very much alive.

    Australian Border Force suggested Djokovic brought little evidence into the country to support his medical exemption. Judge Kelly saw it completely differently, asking “what else could he possibly have done?”

    But the world number one is not able to relax just yet, as the Australian immigration minister is expected to decide on Tuesday whether to use his personal power to cancel the visa for a second time.

    And in the days ahead, Djokovic will also need to justify why he posed for photographs with children at a prize-giving the day after his December positive PCR test was confirmed.

    Novak Djokovic competing at the Australian Open in 2021
  10. Watch: Djokovic's mother says her son has done nothing wrong

    The Djokovic family press conference was, unsurprisingly, a robust defence of the men's world number one tennis player.

    They said the situation he went through in Melbourne had been extremely difficult.

    The Australian government, on the other hand, maintains Djokovic has been treated as anyone else would be in the same circumstances.

    Video content

    Video caption: Novak Djokovic's mother: We're here to celebrate our son's victory
  11. Djokovic has little time to prepare

    Novak Djokovic tweeted a picture of himself back on court at Melbourne Park on Monday after his visa cancellation was overturned, but he has precious little time to prepare for the defence of his Australian Open title.

    Players generally arrive a fortnight before Grand Slams to get acclimatised, particularly in the heat and humidity of Australia. Djokovic will now have seven days' prep time before the tournament begins.

    He had been planning to play for Serbia in the ATP Cup, the men’s team tournament played in Melbourne in the build-up to Australian Open, but he withdrew before the issue of his visa and vaccination status emerged.

    Djokovic is known for being one of the fittest players on Tour, which may work in his favour as he races to be in peak condition.

    Novak Djokovic with the Australian Open trophy in 2021
  12. Djokovic thanks his fans

    As we've been reporting Novak Djokovic has returned to the tennis court despite it being well past midnight in Australia.

    He has also tweeted a message to his fans:

    View more on twitter
  13. What happened at the press conference?

    The Djokovic family speak at the press conference
    Image caption: Djokovic's uncle, mother, father and brother held a press conference in Belgrade

    The Djokovic family press conference just concluded. Here are some highlights:

    • Djokovic’s brother thanked the judge in the case for ruling in the tennis star’s favour and claimed his brother had all the documents required of him when he travelled to Australia
    • He said Djokovic was “supporting the freedom of choice” – an apparent reference to the tennis star’s decision not to get vaccinated
    • Djokovic’s mother Dijana claimed her son was “subject to harassment” and “torture” and his father said the player's "human rights were taken away"
    • The family refused to answer questions about Djokovic being pictured at indoor public events in the days after he tested positive, instead ending the press conference and singing a patriotic song
    • There had been rumours that the tennis star would appear via video link but he was instead training at the Australian Open site
  14. Family refuses to answer questions on Djokovic's positive PCR

    The Djokovic family faced a flurry of questions from the press about the player testing positive for Covid on December 16 and attending events in the days that followed.

    Djokovic is under scrutiny after legal documents showed he tested positive for Covid-19 on 16 December, yet still attended indoor public gatherings, including one with a large group of children, in the days that followed.

    Asked about his actions, the player's family did not respond, instead announcing that the press conference was adjourned.

    The conference ended with the family linking arms and singing a song with patriotic lyrics: "I am coming from Serbia, never leaving it."

  15. 'We've got nothing but love for Australia' - Djokovic family

    Asked if the family have a message for Australia, Novak Djokovic's brother Djordje says they have "nothing but love" for the country.

    "We have just pure love for all of the world," he says.

    "We love Australia, Novak loves Australia, he's won it so many times, we will keep on coming back," he adds.

    He confirms that his brother will not be joining the press conference via video link, as had been suggested earlier, because he is on a tennis court in Melbourne.

  16. Djokovic was 'tortured' and had 'human rights taken away' - parents

    Djokovic’s mother Dijana says her son "suffered torture".

    His father Srdjan says Novak had his "human rights taken away", saying he was not allowed to have contact with friends, his team or his lawyers.

    Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said earlier on Monday that Djokovic was treated "the same as everyone else".

    "There are no special rules for tennis players or anyone else," he said.

  17. Djokovic's mother calls it 'biggest win in his career'

    "I want to thank everyone in the world who who stood up and supported him in Melbourne in front of that so-called hotel," Dijana Djokovic says - a reference to the immigration hotel where Novak was briefly held.

    "This is his biggest win in his career, it is bigger than any Grand Slam," she says.

    “He has done nothing wrong, he hasn’t broken any of their laws. He has been subject to harassment.

    “He fought against the system and the government because he had the right to be there.

    “Never before have we faced a situation like this,” she adds.

    Dijana says it was not possible to contact her son at times and she wasn't sure what was happening.

  18. Novak 'supporting freedom of choice', brother says

    Djordje Djokovic says his brother went to Australia to compete and win the trophy and break the record he has been chasing for so many years.

    He says Novak had all the documents required of him, including a medical exemption, when he travelled to Australia.

    He called his brother "a sportsman above all" and said he was "supporting the freedom of choice" - presumably a reference to Novak's choice not to be vaccinated.

  19. BreakingDjokovic trained earlier today, brother confirms

    Djordje Djokovic says his brother has already been back on the court to train today.

    "Novak is free. A few minutes ago, he trained on a tennis court. He came to Australia to play tennis, to try and win another Australian Open.

    "He has been branded in different ways for many years and he has always supported freedom of choice," he says.

    You can watch the press conference on the BBC News Channel at the top of this page.