For the moment, Novak Djokovic still does not know if he will be allowed to enter Australia to play the first Grand Slam tournament of the year 2023, in Melbourne next January. Refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19, he had been excluded from the Australian Open 2022 and banned from entering Australian territory for a period of three years.
“I really want to go, I forgot what happened this year”
But on Tuesday, Djokovic told the Serbian media Athletic that he saw positive signs in the evolution of his case. What give him hope to play the tournament he has already won nine times in his magnificent career (the first time in 2008, the last in 2021). The Serbian player clarified that these signs were unofficial.
” My lawyers in Australia communicate with the authorities in charge of my casehe added. I hope to have an answer within weeks – whatever that is, but of course I hope it will be positive – so that I have enough time to prepare. […] I really want to go, I forgot what happened this year and I just want to play. Australia has always been where I played my best tennis. The results speak for themselves, so I’m still very motivated to go, this time even more. »
A “slap” for Australians
Novak Djokovic is still not vaccinated against Covid-19, but, since last July, Australia no longer requires foreign travelers to declare their vaccination status. Earlier in October, Australian Open boss Craig Tiley said Djokovic was welcome to contest the tournament, provided he obtained a visa. He had specified that the Australian Federation was not in a position to act to encourage his arrival.
On the side of the authorities, the Ministry of the Interior repeated that it did not comment on specific cases. In the ranks of the opposition, MP Karen Andrews (former Minister of the Interior) had declared that accepting Novak Djokovic on Australian soil would be a ” present for all his fellow citizens who have been vaccinated.