What is the “grace” that Djokovic received to play the Australian Open?

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The 2022 season has been very difficult for Novak Djokovicwho missed several major events due to his refusal to be vaccinated against the coronavirus and suffered a stitch hemorrhage that cost him the No. 1. And it all started when he was unable to defend his title at the Australian Openafter being arrested and expelled from that country, a few hours before the start of the tournament, a situation that also risked leaving him out of the tournament until 2025. But the Serbian will finally be able to return to Melbourne next year.

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While there has been no official announcement, several media outlets in that country have assured it andrea gilesAustralian Immigration Minister, decided to repeal the fine imposed on him Freight for this expulsion, which prevented him from obtaining a visa for three years. Thus, the Balkan will be able to seek his tenth title in the competition in January.

Djokovic starred in a “soap opera” in Australia earlier this season. The Serb arrived in the country on an online managed visa and a medical exemption to circumvent the entry restrictions for unvaccinated foreigners in place at the time. Also, he had the approval of Australian tennis and the government of Victoria, the state in which the tournament is held.

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However, the medical document exempted him from the tournament rule, which required the vaccine for players, spectators and officials, but did not authorize him to enter the country. Frontier Force rejected this and then began a tug of war that lasted for several days.

First they detained him at the airport and then took him to a hotel intended to host irregular immigrants. alex hawke, then the immigration minister, canceled his visa on the grounds that the player posed “a risk to his health and public order, as he could encourage protests from the anti-vaccine movement”. He was reinstated shortly after and allowed to train at Melbourne Park while his team appealed in federal court. But that judicial instance did not have a happy ending: the authorities considered his arguments “illogical and invalid”, revoked his visa again and ordered his expulsion.

The Serbian was thus left with no possibility of defending his title. Later, he also lost the Masters 1,000 of Indian wells, You love me, Montreal Y cincinnati and the US Open (he was a finalist last year), because even the United States and Canada did not allow him to enter because he was not vaccinated.

Furthermore, he could not repeat his consecration Roland Garros (fell in the quarterfinals) and, although won Wimbledonwas unable to maintain the 2,000 points earned in 2021 because the English “big” did not distribute units, in retaliation for the ATP extension for excluding Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament.

Thus, despite taking advantage of the ten matches he was able to play and even qualifying for the Masters at the end of the year, Djokovic suffered a big loss of points, gave up the number one and fell several steps down the standings: today he is eighth.

The sanction weighing on him for his expulsion suggested that 2023 would begin with another great absence. However, in early July, Australia announced it would no longer require visitors to have a Covid-19 vaccination card. Nole saw an opportunity and, through his lawyers, contacted the new Australian government (in May, on Labor Party ended nearly ten years of Conservative government in power) to see if there were any chances of reversing his punishment.

Last month he told, excited, that he had received “positive signals” from the oceanic country. Y Craig Tileylive from the Australian Open, he had assured that the Serbian would be welcome at Melbourne Park, if the visa was granted.

Monday, after batting in straight sets Stephen Tsitsipas on his debut at ATP Finals that are being played this week in Turin, Freight he commented: “No, nothing official yet. We’re waiting. My lawyers are in communication with the Australian government, I can’t say anything more for now.”

Hours later, the good news came for the Serbian, that he will be able to travel to Australia in January, if he so chooses, to seek, at the age of 35, his 22nd Grand Slam title and equal the historic record he currently holds Rafael Nadalwinner this year in Melbourne and Paris.

Source: Clarin

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