Australian Open: Djokovic is allowed to play again

Novak Djokovic gets a visa to the Australian Open. Photo: dpa / Darko Bandic

A case of vaccination cost Novak Djokovic a title chance at the Australian Open in January. Despite being banned from entering, he could now hope to participate again.

Novak Djokovic was still clueless on Monday evening, a few hours after that, Australian media reported the compensatory news for the Serbs: After one year of public-entry drama in Melbourne, the tennis star got his visa and was allowed to compete in the Australian Open (from January 16 ). Play the tenth title.

Djokovic reported Monday evening after his inaugural ATP Finals win that he hadn’t heard anything official. “We are waiting. They are communicating with the Australian government,” the 35-year-old said of his team. “That’s all I can say for now.”

Djokovic was forced to remain in forced quarantine

Tournament director Craig Tiley was confident that Djokovic would be able to compete in the first Grand Slam of the year again next January. He noted that there is a normal visa application process. “I don’t think there should be any preferential treatment for anyone. But I do expect an answer in time for everyone to book flights and enter the country, including Novak.”

In January 2022, before the Australian Open, there was a scandal, and suddenly Rafael Nadal was no longer the biggest opponent of Djokovic, but the Australian Federal Court. The legal dispute lasted ten days, during which Djokovic was kept in forced quarantine in a hotel for deportation. His fans gathered in front of his window and demanded his “release.”

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However, the Australian government has remained resolute around Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, fearing turmoil in the country if Djokovic, who “was seen by some as a representative of the anti-vaccination movement” (Hawke), receives an exemption. For Djokovic (35) this was one of the most painful defeats of his career, as he was absent from the US Open in New York due to a vaccination refusal.

Will Djokovic soon be the record holder?

Djokovic later admitted that the court dispute in Melbourne “stressed him more mentally and emotionally than physically”. It took him some time to fully recover and “turn the experiences into positive energy.” Only on clay has the Masters in Rome won his first title of the season, at Wimbledon in July he was at his best and won his 21st Grand Slam tournament. He is only one title away from record holder Nadal.

If Djokovic does indeed get his visa, he can also thank the new Australian government about Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. It follows a different path than the predecessors of the conservative coalition. Entry into Australia is now possible again without proof of vaccination, and the new immigration minister, Andrew Giles, is set to lift Djokovic’s ban.

Criticism comes from the former Minister of the Interior

The opposition has recently been criticized. Karen: “It would be a slap in the face for all the people in Australia who did the right thing and got vaccinated if Novak Djokovic was suddenly allowed back into the country just because he’s a multimillion-dollar top tennis player.” Andrews said on ABC Radio. The 62-year-old was interior minister when Djokovic was fired in January.

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