Serbia's Novak Djokovic after defeating Croatia's Marin Cilic during their Davis Cup tennis semi-final match at Madrid Arena in Madrid, Spain, on Dec. 3, 2021. Credit: Bernat Armangue / AP

BRISBANE, Australia  — Novak Djokovic was denied entry into Australia and had his visa canceled after arriving in Melbourne late Wednesday to defend his title at the season-opening tennis major.

The Australian Border Force issued a statement early Thursday local time saying Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet entry requirements and “his visa has been subsequently canceled.”

The top-ranked Djokovic flew in after receiving a medical exemption from the strict vaccination requirements in place for the Australian Open, where he is a nine-time winner.

Australian media reported that Djokovic’s team had applied for the wrong type of visa. It led Serbia’s president to blast the “harassment” of the 20-time major winner, who spent the night at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport.

The medical exemption had been expected to allow him to play regardless of his vaccination status for COVID-19, something he has not disclosed, but he also needed to meet strict border regulations to enter the country.

John Pye, The Associated Press