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Australian Open: Tournament director Craig Tiley confident Novak Djokovic will be well received

Reuters
Melbourne, AustraliaUpdated: Dec 28, 2022, 07:33 PM IST
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Photograph:(AFP)

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The former world number one won the season-ending ATP Finals last month and victory at the Australian Open would bring him level with Rafa Nadal on 22 Grand Slam titles. The 2023 Australian Open takes place at Melbourne Park from Jan. 16-29.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said that he has "a great deal of confidence in the Australian public" that Novak Djokovic would be welcomed back to the country nearly a year after the Serb was deported from Australia for not being vaccinated against COVID-19. Djokovic arrived in Australia on Tuesday (December 27), ahead of his bid for a 10th men's singles title at next month's Australian Open. In November, the Australian government granted the Serbian a visa to travel to the Grand Slam event, saying it had decided to revoke the decision to cancel Djokovic's visa after considering all relevant factors.

Since the cancellation of Djokovic's visa in January 2022, all COVID-related border restrictions have been removed in Australia, including the requirement to provide evidence of vaccination status to enter the country. Tiley, speaking in Melbourne on Tuesday, said: "We're a very well-educated sporting public, particularly those who come to the tennis, they love their tennis, they love seeing greatness, they love seeing great athleticism, great matches. "And I have a lot of confidence that the fans will react like we hope they would react and have respect for that."

The former world number one won the season-ending ATP Finals last month and victory at the Australian Open would bring him level with Rafa Nadal on 22 Grand Slam titles. The 2023 Australian Open takes place at Melbourne Park from Jan. 16-29.