Novak Djokovic intends to play in the 2023 Australian Open, according to tournament director Craig Tiley.
Djokovic's arrival in Melbourne prior to the event provoked one of the biggest crossover sports stories of recent years, with the Serb's unvaccinated status and visa complications triggering a polarised debate over his participation.
The 34-year-old had been under the presumption that he had a medical exemption. However, his visa was cancelled on arrival, re-approved by a judge, and then revoked again by Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke.
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Section 133C(3) of the Migration Act was used by Hawke to cancel Djokovic’s visa for a second time. Under this ruling, the 20-time Grand Slam champion will not be able to get another visa into Australia for three years.
However, Tiley expects the world No. 1 to play at Melbourne Park next year.
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"Obviously, he's got to play out this year, but that will be his intention," he told public broadcaster ABC.
At the end of the day, he is the number one player in the world and he really loves the Australian Open.
Marian Vajda - Djokovic's coach - however fears that his charge will take some time to process and recover from what happened.
“I can’t imagine how he handled it. It must have been a huge suffering,” Vajda told Slovakian site Aktuality.sk.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia takes part in a practice session
Image credit: Getty Images
“He humbly endured all measures. But what they did to him must mark him. It is clear that it hit him mentally. It will hurt him for a long time and it will be difficult to get it out of his head.
“However, I know him very well. Novak is strong, resolute and has not yet said his last word in tennis.
“I needed to calm down. I still don’t understand why they did it to him.
“It was an unhealthy and unjust decision, based on the assumption that Djokovic could do or influence something that had not yet happened.”
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