Prime Minister Scott Morrison has spoken with his Serbian counterpart about Novak Djokovic's visa saga as the threat of deportation hangs over the tennis superstar.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is considering whether to use his personal powers to recancel Djokovic's visa, as the saga which has grabbed global headlines rolls on.
The option is being weighed up after the Federal Circuit Court overruled the government's decision to cancel Djokovic's visa, freeing the 20-time Grand Slam champion after four nights in immigration detention.
But Djokovic, who took to Melbourne Park for a late-night training session after his release, now faces a nervous wait to see if he will be allowed to remain in Australia.
Fresh questions have emerged about Djokovic's application to enter the country after documents released by the court reveal he told authorities he had not travelled in the 14 days before his flight to Australia.
Djokovic's authorised his agent to submit the travel declaration to Australian authorities on January 1, according to the tennis star's sworn affidavit.
The affidavit shows that on January 4, Djokovic departed from Spain to travel to Melbourne via Dubai. He arrived in Melbourne around 11.30pm on January 5.
Reports and photos have emerged suggesting Djokovic was in Serbia around Christmas Day, which, if true, means he had travelled to Spain within the 14-day window.
The declaration notes that giving false or misleading information is a serious offence, while civil penalties are also available.
The Canberra Times has asked Border Force to confirm or deny News Corp reports that it is investigating whether Djokovic lied on his travel declaration.
Meanwhile, Mr Morrison had a "constructive call" with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic about Djokovic's case, according to a read out of the discussion.
"The [Australian] Prime Minister explained our non-discriminatory border policy and its role in protecting Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic," the read out said.
"They both agreed to stay in contact on the issue, and to further strengthening the bilateral relationship."
The Canberra Times understands Serbia initiated the call.
Djokovic has at least one supporter in the government's ranks, with former tennis professional John Alexander telling ABC RN Breakfast that there was "no reason" to deport the 34-year-old in the wake of Monday's court ruling.
The decision to cancel Djokovic's visa was found to be "unreasonable" because Border officials made their decision before he had been afforded the time and opportunity to properly argue his case.
The court made no finding on whether Djokovic had a genuine medical exemption to vaccine requirements, however Judge Anthony Kelly questioned during the hearing what more the 34-year-old could have done to prove he was eligible to enter the country.
Djokovic's lawyers had argued their client had permission to land in Australia and compete in next week's Australian Open unvaccinated, citing his approved visa, a medical exemption from Tennis Australia and the Victorian government and a travel declaration which "indicated" he met requirements for quarantine-free travel.
Mr Alexander, who is retiring at the next election, cited Judge Kelly's comments as he described the decision in Djokovic's favour as "pretty emphatic".
He argued Djokovic was not a risk to the health and safety of Australians, which was grounds upon which his visa was originally cancelled.
Asked if it would be a mistake for Mr Hawke to cancel Djokovic's visa, Mr Alexander said: "In my opinion, yes it would be".
Mr Alexander said there was no risk of Australia losing its right to host the Grand Slam, however its reputation could be "diminished".
"If the Australian Open is making conditions that people seem to meet and then [they] are not allowed to come even though they seem to have met the conditions, that would not help our status."
Labor's immigration and home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally said the Morrison government looked like a "pack of idiots" through its handling of the saga.
"This is an incredible mess and Prime Minister Morrison, and his Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews have a hell of a lot of explaining to do," she told Channel 7's Sunrise program.
"Because what we have seen from this is that Australians now know they can't trust Morrison's government to enforce the rules at the border, and they've done incredible damage to the reputation of the Australian Open."
The Canberra Times has contacted Mr Hawke's office for comment.
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