Turin. Novak Djokovic confirmed on Wednesday that he had obtained a visa to be able to travel to Melbourne in January and play the Australian Open, despite the fact that he was denied entry to the country after being expelled last January for not receiving a coronavirus vaccine, and will be able to search in January for his title. x in it amazing.
“Yesterday I was very happy to receive the news. It’s a relief,” said the Serbian player on the sidelines of the ATP tournament in Turin (Italy).
“Having a clear vision now, knowing what I’m going to do in the off-season, that I’m going to start the season in Australia, that too, of course, will take some of the pressure off me,” added the 36-year-old.
Australian Immigration Minister Andrew Giles confirmed the granting of the visa on Thursday, saying he had personally intervened to grant it.
“Following the revocation of Mr Djokovic’s visa in January 2022, all restrictions at Australian borders due to COVID-19, including vaccination requirements, have been lifted,” Giles said in a statement.
As a result, Mr. Djokovic was granted a temporary visa to enter Australia.
The next Australian Open, the first tournament to Grand Slam 2023, which takes place from January 16 to 29, is the “Championship Grand Slam Where I was most successful,” recalls Djokovic, who has won nine of his 21 major titles on Australian soil.
“I have some of my best memories. Obviously I want to go back and play tennis and do what I do best, hopefully having a very good Australian summer,” said the Serb.
At the start of the year, Djokovic, who had not been vaccinated against COVID-19, was arrested upon arrival in the Australian city and later expelled just before the start of the tournament, following a legal battle over his visa.
Subsequently, Australia canceled the obligation for visitors to provide evidence of antiviral vaccination, but the tennis player also received a three-year ban from entering the territory.
The latter measure could be overturned at the discretion of the centre-left government of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who succeeded the conservative coalition in power at the time.
With the vaccine problem removed, the ban on entering the country remained unresolved, at the discretion of the government. Negotiations took place.
Djokovic had indicated again on Monday that his lawyers were “talking with the Australian government,” but added that he couldn’t say anything else “at the moment,” as he was “waiting.”
Australian Open director Craig Tiley had called for the two sides to come to an agreement, but due to the events of January he said he would follow “all instructions” from the government.
And Australian media reported, on Tuesday, that the authorities decided to grant the former world number one an entry visa, which was confirmed by the player himself on Wednesday.
Because despite what he went through, “his family and close relatives this year after the events in Australia and those that followed,” the Serb managed to incorporate the ATP Finals or Masters, a tournament played by the eight best players of the season.
A dysfunctional season for him in which he was unable to defend his title in Melbourne or play tournaments in North America, where a coronavirus vaccine was mandatory, especially at the US Open.
But ever since he resumed competition, he was practically unstoppable.
He tied titles in Tel Aviv and Astana, before a shock defeat in the final of the Masters 1000 in Paris to youngster Holger Rohn. In Turin, looking for a sixth victory to equal Roger Federer’s record, he defeated his first two opponents (Tsitsipas and Rublev) in straight sets, playing at a high level.
“The advantage of not playing as many tournaments is that I’m newer. But being able to play as well as I’ve been playing for the past few months makes me happy. I’ve worked really hard on that because I get more training time, more time with my coaches and with my team on and off the track, to try and perfect Myself “.
In January, the players on his tour to Melbourne will have a big job against the Serb.
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