Novak Djokovic Miami Open 2019

Novak Djokovic reveals next tour event after Australian Open deportation

Novak Djokovic has confirmed his next tournament after his Australian Open deportation ordeal will be the Dubai Tennis Championships at the end of February.

World number one Djokovic will return to action at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after his dreams of winning a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title were slashed when he was deported just one day before the Australian Open began.

Djokovic was granted a medical exemption after months of confusion and doubt regarding his ‘Happy Slam’ involvement, only for it to be cancelled and his visa terminated upon arrival at the Australian border due to insufficient evidence.

Whilst he successfully appealed the decision in court, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke superseded the court’s ruling and decided to cancel his visa and medical exemption for a final time. This decision was unanimously upheld by a three-judge panel and Djokovic was deported.

Djokovic has now been named on the Dubai Championships entry list and will be the top seed. He will be joined by World number six Andrey Rublev and World number nine Felix Auger-Aliassime.

As he battled for his right to stay and compete at the Australian Open, it was revealed in the legal proceedings that Djokovic had not been vaccinated against Covid-19. It is worth noting that entrants to Dubai do not need to be vaccinated in order to enter.

The Serbian legend has previously lifted the Dubai trophy five times last winning in 2020, just before the start of the pandemic, when he beat World number four Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

Djokovic’s five titles mean he is three behind fellow 20-time Slam icon Roger Federer, who has won the event a record eight times since its inception.

Whilst Djokovic will compete in the Middle East, his participation at bigger events and in countries with stricter Covid regulations still remain under considerable uncertainty.

The Dubai Tennis Championships are an ATP 500 event and will take place between February 21st to February 26th.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.