Djokovic handed big boost over Australian Open return as Serb awaits ban verdict

The nine-time champion at the Melbourne Park was deported earlier this year before the start of the Australian Open tournament and was handed a three-year ban from returning to the country.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic (AP)

Just days after Novak Djokovic resumed his regular campaign on ATP tour after having missed out the US Open tune-up events and the final Grand Slam of the year, the former world no.1 has received a massive boost over his return to Australian Open in 2023. The nine-time champion at the Melbourne Park was deported earlier this year before the start of the Australian Open tournament and was handed a three-year ban from returning to the country.

Djokovic’s wait for a official confirmation over his return to Australia for the Grand Slam continues with just two more months left for the 2023 season to kick off. The Serb was denied a chance to defend his crown earlier this year in Melbourne owing to his choice to not get vaccinated against Covid-19 and hence was not allowed to enter the country before being deported and handed a visa ban. However, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has come up with a positive news for Djokovic over the possibility of his return to the tournament next year.

“We are on track to have all the top players back,” he said on Wednesday during a Melbourne Victory luncheon. We are at a different point in time now than we were nine months ago and I think it’s a very different environment with people travelling freely around the world and we hope to have all the best players here in January.”

The 21-time Grand Slam winner had earlier addressed the issue last month during the Laver Cup event in London. “I’m waiting for the news. It’s really not in my hands right now. I’m hoping I can get some positive news soon,” Djokovic said.

Djokovic, for the same reason, had missed out on the US Open as well but has now returned to tour where he won the ATP 250 event in Tel Aviv and is now part of the Astana Open.

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