Novak Djokovic receives huge Australian Open boost as development likely to affect Rafael Nadal hopes

Published on Jul 12, 2022 04:59 PM IST

Djokovic had arrived in Australia earlier this year to defend his title and despite being unvaccinated, he was given an exemption by Tennis Australia.

Novak Djokovic; Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic; Rafael Nadal

Just a day after his stupendous Wimbledon haul, a fourth successive in a row, as he defeated Nick Kyrgios in the final on Centre Court, Novak Djokovic received a massive Australian Open boost, a news that could possibly dent Rafael Nadal's hopes. Djokovic was not allowed to play at the Australian Open earlier this year owing to his vaccination status while Nadal had claimed his second title at Melbourne Park, beating Daniil Medvedev in a thrilling five-setter tie to script history.

Djokovic had arrived in Australia earlier this year to defend his title and despite being unvaccinated, he was given an exemption by Tennis Australia. However, he was barred from entering the country by the government, was deported and later imposed a ban that disallowed him from entering Australia for the next three years.

However, Australia government currently lifted the ban which has allowed unvaccinated foreigners into the country and hence Director of the Australian Open, Craig Tiley is confident that a positive change could happen over Djokovic's ban.

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"I think we are doing our best. Of course, it's not my decision whether he will be able to play at the Australian Open, but Novak is always welcome, he knows that many people in Australia like to watch him play," says Tiley for Sport Club.

"It is up to others to make a decision, but there is still a lot of time before the Australian Open next year." I think everyone should be enjoying his Wimbledon victory now."

If Djokovic is allowed, it could give the Serb the chance to equal Nadal's Grand Slam tally record of 22. The Spaniard however will have the chance to go two clear of Djokovic's tally at the US Open later in August, where Djokovic is unlikely to play over his current vaccination status.

"As things stand now, I cannot travel to Australia and the United States, but I am hoping to get positive news," Djokovic told RTS after being greeted by thousands of fans in front of Belgrade City Hall.

"I believe things will change for Australian Open. For the U.S. Open there is not much time, but hope dies last. I would like to play at the U.S. Open and Australia Open, but even if I do not it's not the end of the world."


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