By Carlos Grohmann
PARIS (Reuters) – World number one Novak Djokovic said on Friday he wanted to play again in Australia despite being expelled from the country earlier this year for not having a COVID-19 vaccine.
The 20-times Grand Slam winner failed to defend his Australian Open title in January after being carried away after initially entering the tournament despite not being vaccinated.
“I don’t know anything about whether they will return my visa or whether they will allow me to go back to Australia,” the Serbian said. “I would like to do that. I would like to go there and play the Australian Open.” Press Conference.
“I have no grudge. What happened. If I had the chance to go back to Australia and play where I’ve had the most success in my Grand Slam career, I’d like to go back.”
Djokovic, who has not been vaccinated against COVID-19, has been expelled from Australia after an 11-day ordeal by the country’s immigration minister for fear the tennis player could spark an anti-vaccination campaign.
Djokovic spent a few days in an immigration detention center in Melbourne and met refugees who had been there for years. Some have since been released.
“If that’s true, obviously I’m very happy, because I know it’s been very difficult for them, especially for those who have been there for nine years,” Djokovic said.
“I was there for a week, and I can’t imagine how they felt for nine years. If you shed any light on this situation, you know, in a positive way for them, to make it happen, of course I am very happy.”
(Edited in Spanish by Javier Lira)
Twitter fan. Beer specialist. Entrepreneur. General pop culture nerd. Music trailblazer. Problem solver. Bacon evangelist. Foodaholic.