The Djokovic deportation appeal hearing is underway. I've gotten an (audio) pipeline in, but technical issues persist. Will do my best to keep folks up to date.

Opening arguments now from Djokovic's lawyer, who is focusing on fairness.
The Djokovic deportation appeal hearing stream is now working for me; good luck to the rest of you.
"You're going to have to drag yourself back to the last century. I hate acronyms."

"There will be no OINKs(?), nothing of that nature."

Folks, we've got a crotchety judge.
(I'm going of limited use here in terms of telling you what sorts of case law is being cited by the judge, I hope you can understand.)
Djokovic's lawyers are trying to make the argument that the various relevant documents are muddled, and should thus there should be some lenience.

"It's a confusing blend."
The judge is not swayed by Djokovic team's argument that "professional implications for your client" are an important consideration.

"But similar implications could arise for anybody," Judge Kelly says.
Optics: the Djokovic side is three older white lawyers in a fancy high-rise conference room.

The government side is represented by two much younger lawyers, one man and one woman.

All five lawyers are wearing black robes and fancy white collar ribbons.
(Djokovic is not on camera. Like any non-Australian lawyer, I assume he'd have a hard time following the details of these arguments.)
Djokovic's team is arguing that defect in any of the reasons used for deportation "infect the ultimate conclusion."

Intriguing word choice.
We could be here a while, folks: the Djokovic team and the judge are already discussing possibility of getting an extension for their argument times beyond 1:45 pm here, which is about 2.5 hours away.
(Periodic and important reminder that Djokovic could have avoided all this rigamarole by simply getting vaccinated like 97%+ of his tennis player peers have.)
"Not only was Djokovic doing his best to provide material to the officer," Djokovic's lawyer says of the relevant health documents, he also did so "before he boarded the aircraft."
Judge makes a very pro-Djokovic comment: "A relatively significant fact, particularly in the context of cancellation of a visa once a person has arrived, that here, a professor and an eminently qualified physician have produced and provided to the applicant a medical exemption."
"What more could this man have done?" the judge asks of Djokovic arriving at the airport with an exemption in hand.
Djokovic team is now talking about the language one gets on the website one gets once a declaration is filled out.

(As someone who also filled out this form to get here, the website says your application "has been assessed" instantly upon submitting the form; no real scrutiny.)
Judge definitely is entertaining Djokovic's appeal, showing sympathy with his argument that he was doing his best to give the border officers what they wanted at the airport.

(This is still the Djokovic team's side to present; we will see how he reacts to the government side.)
Seems that the stream of the proceedings has disconnected.

Go get snacks, folks.
But in all seriousness, the court should have anticipated the strains caused by huge demand to watch this and moved to a more stable streaming site like YouTube or Twitch. This is a special occasion with massively outsized attention, like it or not.
The Djokovic team has wrapped up its argument, and Judge Kelly has now turned to the state's lawyers to discuss their schedule.

Christopher Tran, the state's lead lawyer here, wants to speak for the next 30 minutes before an adjournment.
The judge thinks this idea is just swell, so we're going to hear an overview of the state's main points now.
Now that he's finally addressing the state's case, Judge Kelly seems to agree with the sentiment that the motives of the border officer shouldn't be maligned casually.

"I would be most reluctant to impugn a decision maker."
"It's serendipitous that your honor has given me the indulgence of this half-hour," says the wordsmith Christopher Tran.
"The idea of estoppel is a wriggly fish, Mr. Tran," says the judge, as the prose is proving contagious.
I am fully, fully fine with qualified legal personnel using language that they mutually understand that we as an audience might not.

This sort of hearing wasn't designed to be easily understood by the general public, frustrating though that may be.

The court has adjourned until 3:15 pm, so roughly an hour and 15 minutes from now.
Court is back in session in the Djokovic deportation, now on a (hopefully) stable YouTube stream.
(and then it adjourned again almost immediately, but hopefully that link at least should be stable for a good while when they return.)

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More from @BenRothenberg

11 Jan
Visit from the trainer on the first changeover of Bernard Tomic's match. He's taking his pulse before serving down break point. #AusOpen
^Tomic was taking his own pulse before serving, to be clear. He got broken.

Tomic was hyping up his return to #AusOpen competition quite a bit on social media, but this is rough going for him against in-form Roman Safiullin.
Not sure if Tomic is blaming his physical difficulties on potential Covid, but he just complained to the umpire during the changeover that #AusOpen is relying on rapid antigen tests rather than PCR tests.

Tomic trails Safiullin 1-6, 1-2.
Read 6 tweets
8 Jan
A question lingering: if Djokovic was claiming a coronavirus positive in last six months as reason for an exemption, when did he get it?

According to BBC, his lawyers say that Djokovic tested positive very recently, less than a month ago, on December 16.…
December 16 was a busy day for Djokovic:

In addition to purportedly getting a PCR test for Covid that came back positive, Djokovic also was part of a maskless, indoor panel discussion and attended a maskless, indoor ceremony for a stamp being made in his honor on that day. ImageImageImage
A positive test on December 16 would have come too late for the Tennis Australia exemption process deadline as described to players.

According to Tennis Australia documents, the deadline for applying for an exemption had been nearly a week earlier, “no later than” December 10. Image
Read 18 tweets
6 Jan
Had to check out the scene myself at the Park Hotel where Djokovic is being detained and where his supporters have gathered to protest his impending deportation for being unvaccinated. #AusOpen Image
Crucially, the Park Hotel has also been used to detain refugees seeking asylum, some of whom have been imprisoned there for years.
This woman was understandably furious with the smattering of media there for only caring about detainees at the Park Hotel when one of them happens to be a tennis champion. #AusOpen
Read 4 tweets
8 Sep 21
Raducanu was untouchable at #USOpen so far, but this is her first match here (and first career match) against a top-40 foe.

And Bencic is a gold medalist just last month, so not just any top-40 player.

Bencic has put pressure on her right from the jump, instilling some doubt.
Raducanu settled and balling now.

On serve, 4-3*, with eight winners to Bencic's four.

Five straight games for Raducanu, who takes the first 6-3 over Bencic.

Read 4 tweets
7 Jun 21
People find that satisfying? A super-talented young player emerges and plays 2.5 hours of jaw-dropping, world-beating tennis…and then enough time passes for regression to the mean and normal programming resumes, and it’s deflating. Djokovic earns the win, sure, but yawn.
Part of the appeal of sports, I truly believe, is that anything can happen. The any given Sunday principle that sees things like Mickelson winning in his 50s.

In men’s tennis at Slams, the margins are just too big to ever derail the top guys, and it’s cruise control to a fault.
Thankfully for tennis, the ATP and ITF have seen the light here, retiring the obsolete best-of-five format at Olympics, ATP finals, Masters finals, and Davis Cup.

When the best deal Grand Slam tennis can get is Peacock, it’s time for the Slams to see the writing on the wall too.
Read 4 tweets
7 Jun 21
Djokovic 6-1 in the third with some ease, upping his level after an off-court break and running away with it. #RG21
And now Djokovic already up a break in the fourth. #RG21
And now Musetti can’t even win points.

Djokovic halfway to a golden set in the fourth, 12 points to none.

Mamma mia.
Read 5 tweets

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