Novak Djokovic Australian Open series 2022

Novak Djokovic vows to ‘move on’ from deportation saga at Monte-Carlo Masters

Novak Djokovic has admitted the 2022 season has been both ‘mentally and emotionally challenging’ but he is confident he can now put it behind him.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner has only played a total of three matches this year due to his refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Having been deported from Australia just one day before the Australian Open began and then being refused entry to America to compete in the ‘Sunshine Double,’¬†Djokovic was only allowed to compete at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

In that tournament Djokovic beat Lorenzo Musetti and Karen Khachanov before suffering a shock defeat to Czechian qualifier Jiri Vesely.

Whilst the loss saw Djokovic lose his World number one title to Daniil Medvedev, Djokovic regained the title after Medvedev lost to Gael Monfils at the Indian Wells Masters. Medvedev then fell at the final hurdle as he was just one match away from reclaiming the position.

The Serbian icon is now set to return for the clay-court season. He will compete at this week’s Monte-Carlo Masters and as it stands is eligible to compete at next month’s French Open as he vies to equal Rafael Nadal’s Grand Slam tally of 21.

Speaking to reporters ahead of this week’s Monte Carlo Masters, Djokovic said¬†“I try to be optimistic in life¬†and consider myself a very optimistic, positive person.

“I take lessons available in every experience, particularly in something as large as what happened in January (his deportation).

“Once I start playing matches… I will obviously have to deal with everything that probably has been dormant inside and is maybe waiting to come out.

“I don’t feel it has left huge scars that I’m¬†unable to train or participate in tournaments or live my life… far from that.

“But it has been a challenging few months and something I never experienced before. So I will try to use that as a fuel for what’s coming up.

“The last four, five months have been really¬†challenging for me mentally and emotionally, but here I am. I try to leave all of that behind and move on.”

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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.