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Home » Novak Djokovic Returns to Australia After Being Deported Over Vaccine Stance

Novak Djokovic Returns to Australia After Being Deported Over Vaccine Stance

28 December 2022, Wednesday
Novak Djokovic has been welcomed back to Australia after being deported a year ago due to his stance against Covid-19 vaccination, Tennis Australia confirmed on Wednesday.
The world's number one tennis player will open his 2023 season in Adelaide, hoping to secure his 10th Australian Open title. Djokovic was granted a visa by the Australian government and is set to participate in the Adelaide International, which begins on Sunday.

Novak Djokovic touched down in Adelaide on Tuesday, as confirmed by the governing body. At a press conference the same day, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley indicated Djokovic's arrival, expressing his enthusiasm.
"Novak is welcome in Australia," Tiley said. "At this time he has already landed in Adelaide, and he will undoubtedly be the player to beat at the upcoming Australian Open."

The 35-year-old Serbian athlete is set to compete in the event from January 16-29 in Melbourne.

Novak Djokovic has been granted a visa for Australia after missing the Grand Slam last year due to his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19. The Australian government had initially imposed strict rules for unvaccinated travelers, but has since lifted them. Immigration Minister Andrew Giles confirmed last month that Djokovic would be allowed entry.

Novak Djokovic has put together an impressive record at the Australian Open, with a total of nine titles including the most recent three. Unfortunately, he missed the 2022 tournament which was won by Rafael Nadal and so the defending champion was absent. 

Djokovic expressed his hopes of receiving a warm welcome and playing well when the tournament rolls around again. “I’ve been lucky to have great starts in Australia and I love it there,” he said in Dubai last week. “Hopefully I can get a good reception and some good tennis.”

Questions are still being asked about how the Australian fans will respond to Djokovic's arrival. However, Tiley expressed confidence in them, telling reporters Tuesday that he believes they will react well.

"I have a great deal of trust in the Australian public," Tiley explained. "We are a very well-educated sporting public, particularly those who attend the tennis. They enjoy the game, they appreciate greatness and athleticism, and they love to watch fun matches. I have a lot of faith that the fans will act in a respectful manner towards Djokovic."

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