The one man in Australia who still has the power to deport Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic may have won his court battle, but the result of his war to be allowed to compete at the Australian Open remains a mystery.

He arrived in Melbourne last week after claiming to have been given a medical exemption to bypass the vaccination rule, only to be told that his visa had been cancelled and that he would be deported.

But the world number one's legal team moved quickly to block that and force a hearing in front of a judge.

That took place on Monday, and after hearing the arguments from both sides federal judge Anthony Kelly ruled in favour of the tennis star.

Djokovic took to social media in the aftermath to thank fans for their support and reaffirm his desire to stay in Melbourne and play at the first Grand Slam of 2022.

But his court victory is not the final chapter in this story, as there is one man whose next big decision can still change everything.

Who is Alex Hawke?

Hawke is Australia's immigration minister, having been in that post for a little over a year and a member of the country's parliament since 2007.

A legal loophole means he has the power to crush Djokovic's dreams despite Monday's court decision.

Section 133c(3) of the Migration Act gives the immigration minister personal power to cancel the Serbian's visa anyway, even though Judge Kelly ruled that the original decision to do so was "unreasonable".

It has already been confirmed that the minister is weighing up what he should do, with government lawyer Christopher Tan telling the court that Hawke would be considering whether or not to exercise the power at his fingertips.

At first it was believed that Hawke had a four-hour window in which he could use this power, but Australian political reporter Chris O'Keefe said that rule only applied if Djokovic had been interviewed again, which he was not.

Instead, he is expected to make his deliberations on Tuesday (local time) with a decision possible within the next 24 hours.

His powers allow Hawke to block Djokovic's visa if he feels the Serbian "poses a risk to health, safety or goof order of the Australian community of a segment of the Australian community", or instead the "health or safety of an individual or individuals".

If he decides against using the power, the tennis star looks set to stay in Melbourne and compete at the Australian Open.

But if he chooses to use it, Djokovic will most likely be deported – his legal team could appeal again, but this power under the Migration Act would be much more difficult to argue against in court.

The other remaining question would be whether or not Hawke chooses to uphold or waive the three-year visa ban which comes with the denial of travel documents.

If it were upheld then the Serbian would be forced to miss out on the Australian Open and all other competitions that take place in the country for the next three seasons.

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