An "extremely disappointed" Novak Djokovic has accepted his Australian Open fate and has flown out of the country.
"I can confirm that Mr Djokovic has now departed Australia," Immigration Minister Alex Hawke tweeted on Sunday.
Djokovic was deported after his last-minute challenge to a decision to cancel his visa failed on the eve of the tournament, where the nine-times Open champion had aimed to win a record 21st grand slam title.
The three-judge panel of the Federal Court ruled unanimously against Djokovic on Sunday night.
The decision came after Hawke had cancelled Djokovic's visa for a second time on Friday, citing a risk to public health and the chance the unvaccinated star's presence in Australia could excite anti-vaccination sentiment.
Djokovic had been scheduled to begin his title defence title against fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic on Rod Laver Arena on Monday night after women's world No.1 Ash Barty's clash with Lesia Tsurenko.
But after having spent five nights in a detention hotel, he wasted no time leaving and was pictured accompanied by Australian Border Force officials at Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport before boarding an Emirates flight to Dubai that left at 10.30pm..
The 34-year-old may also face a three-year ban on re-entering the country, but that sanction could be waived at a later date.
"I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister's decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open," Djokovic said in a statement.
"I respect the Court's ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country.
"I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love."
The blame game is set to intensify now that Djokovic's bid to play in the Open is officially over, with Tennis Australia set to be firmly in the crosshairs.
TA has been accused of providing misleading information to players, with some reports indicating the governing body had told players they could be granted an exemption from being fully vaccinated if they could prove they had tested positive to COVID-19 within the previous six months.
TA boss Craig Tiley has largely maintained his silence, except to blame "contradictory and conflicting" information for the saga.
Three-time major winner Andy Murray blasted the way Djokovic has been treated.
"I don't like he is in this situation and I don't like he has been in detention," Murray told the BBC.
"The situation has not been good all round for anyone. Hopefully, from all sides, from the tournament and from Novak, we can make sure this doesn't happen at any other tournaments and that something is in place ahead of time.
"It feels everything here happened extremely last minute and that's why it became such a s**t show."
The ATP released a statement saying the decision to uphold Djokovic's visa cancellation marked the end of a "deeply regrettable series of events".
"Irrespective of how this point has been reached, Novak is one of our sport's greatest champions and his absence from the Australian Open is a loss for the game," the statement said.
"We know how turbulent the recent days have been for Novak and how much he wanted to defend his title in Melbourne."
Djokovic's bid to go one one clear of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer with a 21st grand slam title is now on ice.
And if he chooses to stay unvaccinated, it remains to be seen whether he will be allowed to contest the other three grand slams - Wimbledon, the French Open and the US Open.
It's a huge boost for world No.6 Nadal, who will have the chance to overtake Djokovic and the injured Federer to secure his 21st grand slam title at the Open.
The Australian Open order of play is normally released two days before the start of the tournament.
But the uncertainty over Djokovic's prospects of playing had officials delay the schedule until just after 4pm AEDT on Sunday.
The Federal Court still hadn't made their ruling by that stage, leaving AO organisers with little choice but to schedule his match for prime time on Rod Laver Arena.
But with Djokovic out, Italy's world No.150 Salvatore Caruso now finds himself replacing the world No.1 at the top of the draw.
Caruso failed to land a spot in the main draw during qualifying but, as the "lucky loser", he was first in line to replace anyone who was struck down by injury, illness or, in Djokovic's case, a high-profile deportation.
The Australian Open reacted to Djokovic's exit by switching the Caruso-Kecmanovic match from Rod Laver Arena to Show Court 2, and promoting world No.3 Alexander Zverev's clash with Daniel Altmaier to Rod Laver Arena.
Australian Associated Press
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