Novak Djokovic will hope to compete for a record-equalling 22nd grand slam title at the Australian Open next year. The Serbian was the centre of all tennis headlines in January as he was barred from competing in Melbourne due to not being vaccinated against COVID-19 and refusing to budge on his stance.
He was detained, released and detained again, before he was ultimately deported and had to watch Rafael Nadal claim a then record 21st major crown. He was banned from re-entering the country by the Australian government until 2025 and his vaccination status also meant he was unable to compete in this year’s US Open at Flushing Meadows.
But the reigning Wimbledon champion still has hopes of winning an incredible tenth Australian Open crown in three months time and is anxiously waiting on whether his ban is waived and he can obtain a visa. But according to an Express Sport survey in which 6128 readers participated, 45.5 percent do not think Australia will lift their ban to allow Djokovic to play in two months time.
As many as 31.5 percent think the tennis legend will be given a reprieve and will grace the Australia courts in 2023, whereas 23 percent were unsure. Another question posed to readers was if they believe Djokovic should be allowed back into Australia and it was another result that does not make great reading for the former world number one.
53.5 percentbelieve he should not be allowed back in the country, whereas just 43.1 percent of those think Djokovic should be granted entry once again; just 3.4 percent were on the fence. This next survey result marked more positive reading for the sporting icon, as 53.5 percent of readers believe Djokovic will win another major in Australia if he is allowed to compete at Melbourne Park once again. However, 46.5 percent think he won his ninth and final title there in 2021.
Djokovic has missed several events this season due to his unvaccinated status, but has still managed to claim four, titles including his seventh Wimbledon crown. The 35-year-old is desperate to find out if he can compete so that he can prepare for another tilt at glory Down Under.
“When it comes to Australia, there are some positive signs, but unofficially,” Djokovic told Sportal. “We are communicating through my lawyers in Australia. In fact, they are communicating with the authorities in charge of my case.
“I hope to have an answer in the next few weeks – whatever that answer might be, but of course I am hoping for a positive one – so that I have enough time to prepare for the start of the season, if that start is going to happen in Australia.”
“I really want to go there, I am over what happened this year and I just want to play tennis, it is what I do best.
“Australia has always been the place where I have played my best tennis, the results speak for themselves, so I am always extra motivated to go there. This time even more, so. I am hoping for a positive answer.”