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Novak Djokovic makes Australian Open decision ahead of 2023 return to tournament

Novak Djokovic has made a big decision as he gears up to his return to the Australian Open in January. Last year, following an explosive visa scandal, the Serbian star was denied a chance to defend his title down under, deported out of the country on the eve of the tournament over his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
He was duly handed a three-year ban from revisiting the country, but this month learnt that the sanction had been revoked. Djokovic has since confirmed he will participate again at Melbourne Park, the scene of nine of his 21 Grand Slam wins.

The debacle last January kick-started a tempestuous year for the all-time great, who did compete in the French Open before triumphing at Wimbledon. However, he was then forced to miss the US Open, having been barred from travelling to America due to not being jabbed.

The 35-year-old returned to finish the season strongly though, winning the ATP Finals in Turin. And now he’s seemingly revealed the event he will enter in Australia as part of his build-up to the first Slam of 2023.
Djokovic is set to play in the Adelaide International after including the tournament on the schedule on his website. The event will start on January 2, with the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre hosting back-to-back combined WTA 500 and ATP 250 tournaments, and the second editions from January 9-14.

Tennis journalist Jode Morgado tweeted the news, writing: “Novak Djokovic will start his 2023 season in Adelaide. Looks like [Carlos] Alcaraz will be only top 10 to not play a pre-Australian Open official tournament.”
The impending return of Djokovic to Australia has been widely welcomed by fans and players. Indeed, Juan Carlos Ferrero, the coach of Alcaraz, has claimed the presence of the Serbian will help the new world No 1.
“We need him,” Ferrero told Eurosport. “I think for Carlos to improve his tennis he needs to play against one of the best in history. Of course, Rafa [Nadal] is there to play against him and Novak, we need him.”

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