It would “be a slap in the face for those people in Australia who did the right thing” to allow Novak Djokovic to play at the 2023 Australian Open, says Australia’s shadow home affairs minister Karen Andrews.
Djokovic had his visa cancelled and was deported ahead of this year's Australian Open owing to his Covid vaccination status. Usually, under those circumstance, he would be banned from returning to Australia for three years.
The cancellation of his visa means he could be banned from returning to the country for three years.
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However, the Serbian, who has won the Australian Open on nine occasions, has expressed a desire to compete at Melbourne Park next year. The 2023 Australian Open takes place from January 16-29. A change in government means it is not inconceivable that he be afforded the opportunity to go for a 10th title.
Former home affairs minister Karen Andrews has said that any decision to allow him into the country would be an affront to normal Australians.
“It would be a slap in the face for those people in Australia who did the right thing … 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,” Andrews told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“I don’t think there is any reason it should be overturned because someone has a lot of money.
“It shouldn’t be one rule for Novak Djokovic and a different rule for everybody else.”
Shadow immigration minister Dan Tehan was less strident, saying that any decision would need to be contingent on protecting the integrity of Australia’s immigration system.
“As a tennis lover, I’d love to see him there, but the most important thing here is that we protect the integrity of our immigration system,” Tehan told Sky News Australia.
“The rules about coming into Australia have changed; you don’t have to be vaccinated any more.
“If they decide that he can come, they’ve got to do so in making that decision in a way to protect the integrity of our immigration system.”
For his part, Djokovic has previously said it was out of his hands but he was waiting on news.
“I’m waiting for the news, it’s not in my hands right now," Djokovic told the press ahead of the Laver Cup.
"I’m hoping I can get some positive news.”
The decision to remain unvaccinated saw Djokovic also miss the US Open, but he insists that he has no regrets.
“I don’t have any regrets,” said Djokovic. “I do feel sad I didn’t play but I knew the consequences of my actions.
“[Carlos] Alcaraz won in incredible fashion. He’s already No. 1, it’s quite amazing and he is a great addition to our sport.”

‘It’s not in my hands’ – Djokovic hoping for positive Australian Open news

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