Credit…Mark Baker/Associated Press

Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis star, had his visa revoked for a second time by Australian authorities on Friday and was due to be detained again on Saturday, the dizzying latest volley in a never-ending drama over his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement that he was canceling Djokovic’s visa on grounds of “health and good order”, adding that it was in the public interest to do so. Djokovic’s lawyers have said they will appeal immediately, with the Australian Open starting on Monday and his ability to compete for a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title increasingly under threat.

Hawke took action four days after Djokovic won a court victory that freed him from immigration detention, where he had been held since arriving at Melbourne Airport last week.

Explaining his decision to revoke the visa, the minister said the Australian government was committed to protecting the country’s borders during the pandemic.

Djokovic’s lawyers said at a circuit court hearing on Friday night that they would challenge the ruling, and a judge ordered the government not to deport him while the appeal is heard.

After this hearing, the case was transferred to another judge, David O’Callaghan of the Federal Court of Australia. He will preside over a new hearing at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday.

Legal experts said Djokovic may be unlikely to see the decision overturned, despite winning his first round in court earlier this week on narrow procedural grounds.

Mary Crock, a law professor at the University of Sydney, said it would be “very, very difficult” for Djokovic to win an appeal. “The rules of natural justice and procedure do not apply,” she said. Thus, the only way he could succeed on appeal would be to prove that there is no public interest reason on which the visa could have been revoked.

A federal investigation led by Hawke had revealed that Djokovic had provided false information on the documents he gave to border authorities when he tried to enter Australia last week.

These documents did not indicate that Djokovic, who lives in Monte Carlo, had traveled between Serbia and Spain in the 14 days before arriving in Australia.

In a social media post On Wednesday, Djokovic acknowledged the inaccuracies and answered questions about his movements in the days before and after he tested positive for coronavirus on December 16. That test result had earned him an exemption from state health officials in Victoria to play in the Australian Open, where he is the defending champion, despite not being vaccinated.

“I just want the opportunity to face the best players in the world and play in front of one of the best audiences in the world,” Djokovic said in the post.

Djokovic arrived in Australia late on January 5, but a few hours later, and after an interview at the airport, border officials canceled his visa, saying he remained subject to the requirement that anyone entering the country be fully vaccinated. He spent five days in a hotel for refugees and asylum seekers, until a judge concluded on Monday that he had been treated unfairly and ordered Djokovic’s release with the reinstatement of his visa.

The court ruling did not end the case, but instead focused on Djokovic’s supporting documents, the legitimacy of his coronavirus test and basic questions about what Djokovic knew about his diagnosis and when. he knew it.

Legally, Hawke, the immigration minister, can cancel a visa on moral grounds or if he finds the records to be false, or if he thinks the visa recipient poses a health or safety risk. . Hawke made his decision as Australia are in the midst of their worst ever bout with coronavirus.

Mike Ives and Matthew Futterman contributed reporting.