Novak Djokovic entering the country to contest the 2023 Australian Open

Sydney | Thu | November 17, 2022

Australia will overturn a three-year ban on tennis player Novak Djokovic entering the country, paving the way for the former world No. 1 to contest the 2023 Australian Open.

After defeating Andrey Rublev at the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy, on Wednesday, Djokovic announced the announcement in a press conference and added that he would play in the 2023 Australian Open in January.

The 21-time grand slam champion told reporters, “I was really thrilled to receive the news yesterday. Knowing what I and others closest to me have been through this year as a result of what happened in Australia and after Australia, it was certainly a relief. I doubt I could have gotten any better news.

“Knowing that I have clarity today, what I do in the off-season, and beginning the season in Australia, of course, helped remove some of the pressure me and my team felt,” Djokovic said. For us, it’s nice just to have that clarity.

More than any other player in history, Djokovic has won nine men’s singles titles in the Australian Open.

“My most successful Grand Slam has been the Australian Open. There, I created some of my favorite memories. Naturally, I want to return, play tennis, do what I do best, and hopefully have a fantastic Australian summer,” Djokovic continued.

Former immigration minister Alex Hawke determined that Djokovic posed a risk to public health and order because, as a famous athlete who had previously voiced opposition to vaccination, he may be seen as a “icon” for anti-vaxxers. Djokovic was expelled from Australia in January.

The footballer would have a three-year entry restriction when the minister decided to expel him.

Djokovic might participate in the Australian Open in January of next year, according to Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia, earlier on Tuesday.

Everyone is currently doing the standard visa application process, and everyone will do so at the proper time, Tiley told the Australian Associated Press (AAP) news agency.

“I don’t believe anyone should receive special treatment. But I absolutely anticipate having a response for everyone, including Novak, by the time they need to reserve their tickets and arrive.

Tuesday, a person with inside knowledge informed CNN that the nation would revoke the three-year restriction.

Djokovic’s Australian Open drama

The Australian Open was overshadowed earlier this year by Djokovic’s high-profile visa drama, which pitted one of sports’ top stars against the Australian government and caused a rift in the nation as it enforced severe influenza border controls.

The Serbian’s visa was revoked by the authorities shortly after his arrival in Melbourne on January 5 because he had not had a Covid-19 vaccination.

Djokovic claimed he believed he was allowed to enter the nation because he had been granted an exemption by two independent panels connected to Tennis Australia and the Victorian state government on the grounds that he had contracted the illness a few weeks before to his arrival.

However, the federal government contended there wasn’t a legitimate justification for an exception under its laws.

Later, a judge declared that border guards’ cancellation of Djokovic’s visa and order for his release from an immigration detention facility were “unreasonable” actions.

The tennis player left Australia shortly after his visa was again canceled, having failed in his attempt to appeal the decision.

Despite returning to compete in some tournaments after the incident, the player’s stance on the Covid-19 immunization prevented him from competing in others.

In July, Djokovic defeated Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final to claim his 21st grand slam victory.

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