Novak Djokovic has been granted visa to play in the Australian Open in January 2023, Guardian Australia and state broadcaster ABC has reported on 15 November.

Djokovic was deported from Australia in the leadup to the Grand Slam in January after he declined to be vaccinated. The former world No. 1 was originally barred from the country until 2025.

The ABC said it had confirmed Immigration Minister Andrew Giles had overturned that ban, allowing Djokovic to compete.

This year’s championship was overshadowed by nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic being put on a plane on the eve of the contest after a high-stakes legal battle over his visa status.

Djokovic’s three-year ban can be overturned at the discretion of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s centre-left government, which is different to the conservative coalition in power when he was kicked out.

Over the past month there have been hints that the Australian government might have a change of heart.

“Nothing official yet,” Djokovic told reporters after winning his opening match at the ATP Finals in Turin on Monday night.

“We are waiting. They are communicating with the government of Australia. That’s all I can tell you for now.”

‘Love to come back’ 

Last month, Australian Open chief Craig Tiley said he had spent time with Djokovic recently and the Serbian wanted to return for the first major of the year in January in Melbourne.

“What we’re saying at this point is that Novak and the federal government need to work out the situation. And then we’ll follow any instruction after that,” Tiley told The Age newspaper at the tournament’s official launch.

“I did spend some time with Novak at the Laver Cup. We spoke generally. He said that he’d obviously love to come back to Australia but he knows it’s going to be an ultimate decision for the federal government.

“He’s accepted that position. It’s a private matter between them.”

Opposition politician Karen Andrews, who was home affairs minister when Djokovic was deported, argued that he should not be given special treatment.

“It would be a slap in the face for those people in Australia who did the right thing, got vaccinated, did everything they needed to do, if all of a sudden Novak Djokovic is allowed back into the country simply because he is a high-ranking tennis player with many millions of dollars,” she told ABC radio last month.

Djokovic arrived in Melbourne in January for the first Grand Slam of the year claiming he had obtained a medical exemption to enter the country without being vaccinated as he had recently recovered from Covid-19.

But Australian border officials said he did not meet requirements to be exempted from strict vaccination rules, his visa was cancelled and a protracted legal appeal failed.

Australia has since lifted its requirement for visitors to show proof of vaccination against Covid.

(With inputs from agencies)

Catch all the Sports News and Updates on Live Mint.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.

More
Less



Source link

Leave comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *.