Novak Djokovic and Aussie government need to figure out Djoker’s Australian Open participation dilemma: Tournament chief

In a shocking turn of events in January, the Serbian former world number one, Novak Djokovic was kicked out of the country for failing to get vaccinated against the deadly COVID-19 virus. He was unable to visit Australia or the USA as he won’t get the visa for not getting vaccinated. Yet, he was expecting good news in the upcoming Australian Open.

“I think things will be different at the Australian Open. There isn’t much time left for the U.S. Open, but hope remains. Although I would like to participate at the US Open and Australia Open, it would not be the end of the world if I did not.” said the 35 years old.

Craig Tiley, the chief executive officer of the Australian Open, stated on Wednesday that Novak Djokovic is eager to play in the tournament but it is up to him to “work out the situation” with the government. Tiley also confirmed that Russians and Belarusians can compete as neutrals in the tournament.

“It’s not a matter we can lobby on,” said Tiley. “Novak and the federal government need to work out the situation and then we’ll follow any instruction after that.” He stated.

Moreover, he disclosed on Wednesday that Tennis Australia has hired outside immigration specialists to assist with the huge number of visa applications that are anticipated from international players and their entourages in preparation for the first grand slam of 2023.

The nine-time world champion from Serbia is currently subject to an entry ban into Australia for a period of three years. It is up to the discretion of the center-left government, which is distinct from the conservative coalition that was in power when he was removed from office and could not overrule the decision. However, they have not provided any indication as to whether or not they would consider this.

Prozukta Prerona

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