Novak Djokovic wants to return to Australian Open despite ‘hard to forget’ deportation saga
After being ejected just a day before the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic has outlined his intentions to return to Melbourne Park despite this year’s frosty reception.
20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic was denied the opportunity to defend his Australian Open crown and bid for a record-breaking 21st Major title after he was deported just one day before the Slam got underway.
Whilst he had his medical exemption reinstated, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke took the executive decision to terminate the visa one final time on the basis that he may spark anti-vaccination sentiment if he were allowed to compete unvaccinated.
In a honest interview with the BBC, Djokovic recently said he intends to remain unvaccinated even if one of the consequences means he will miss out on Grand Slams.
This revelation would mean he will be the only player on the ATP Tour within the top 100 to be unvaccinated and could see him relinquish his chances of ending his career as the most successful male player of all time.
The Serbian great’s chances have already been dealt a blow as Nadal went on to win the ‘Happy Slam’ in the absence of both Djokovic and fellow 20-time Slam titlist Roger Federer, making the Spaniard the first to reach a record-breaking 21 Grand Slams.
In an interview with Radio Television of Serbia (RTS), Djokovic said “I will always remember all the nice things that happened for me in Melbourne. I had many unforgettable professional tennis moments and personal ones I experienced in that country.
“Besides everything that happened, I have nothing against the people in Australia. I have a pretty good connection with tennis fans, sport fans and Australia in general – and results itself are proof how I feel every time I go to Australia.
“Of course, this was completely unexpected, with everything that happened and of course it is hard to forget, but I want to return to Australia in the future. I want to play again on Rod Laver Arena.”
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