There's still hope for Novak Djokovic.
If tennis' world No.1 stands any chance of winning his record 10th Australian Open title, he must first head back home to Serbia to apply for the correct visa.
Once that visa is successfully filled out, he could then return Down Under to await his fate at border control.
In total, the trip would be around 28,000km.
To put it simply, if Djokovic desperately wants to defend his Australian Open crown, he'll have to spend at least 48 hours in a not-so-comfy plane chair.
Granted, it'll probably be a first class ticket for the Serbian star, but still.
Much to the amazement of sports fans and Australian citizens alike, Djokovic was controversially granted a vaccine exemption which would allow him to compete in the Australian Open.
When news broke of the hall pass, outrage ultimately ensued.
But less than 24 hours later, Djokovic - who has repeatedly refused to declare his vaccination status - had his visa rejected and was sent back to Serbia.
According to Australia's health minister Greg Hunt, Djokovic did not provide "appropriate standards of proof" to enter the country.
But it seems hope is not lost for the 34-year-old.
According to The Age reporter Sam McClure, officials reckon Djokovic could still play in this year's Grand Slam event in Melbourne if he endures a 28,000km round journey back to Serbia in order to complete the correct visa.
Authorities believe Novak Djokovic can still play in this year's Australian Open.- Sam McClure (@sam_mcclure) January 5, 2022
He can return home, apply for the correct visa and come back to Aus.
Would be one hell of a round trip but the door ain't shut yet.
McClure tweeted: "Authorities believe Novak Djokovic can still play in this year's Australian Open.
"He can return home, apply for the correct visa and come back to Australia.
"Would be one hell of a round trip but the door ain't shut yet."
It does pose the question as to whether being unvaccinated would still present a problem at the border?
But I guess we'll just have to wait and see what this new visa brings to the table.
Either way, if Djokovic ends up doing the 28,000km round trip only to get denied at the border once again, you can imagine he'll be in line for a huge amount of stick
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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