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Airport selfies for Djokovic as Australian Open begins

Posing for selfies with fans in Dubai, tennis star Novak Djokovic was a world away from where he thought he would be on Monday.

It's the first day of the Australian Open and instead of warming up to play center court in front of thousands, the Serbian is headed for home.

The world number one flew out of Melbourne on Sunday after Australia's Federal Court upheld a government decision to cancel his visa.

The ruling capped off days of drama over his unvaccinated status, and dealt a final blow to Djokovic's hopes of chasing a record 21st Grand Slam win.

Thousands of miles away back in Melbourne, many are happy to see the back of him and for the focus to return to tennis:

"I'm relieved, that should've been organised before he came to Australia. So I'm glad it's all over."

"I think it was highly anticipated, the decision making, and I think it was kind of dragged on a little bit too long."

"Well I'm just glad the focus is now on what we're all here for - yeah the Australian Open."

Under Australia's immigration laws, Djokovic would usually be subject to a three-year entry ban.

But Prime Minister Scott Morrison has left the door open to him, noting that there was room for a waiver "in the right circumstances".

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