Almost a year after being deported from Australia over his COVID-19 vaccine status, 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic will be able to return after reportedly being set to receive a visa to play in the Australian Open in January.
Multiple reports on Tuesday indicated that Immigration Minister Andrew Giles had overturned a potential three-year ban for Djokovic which followed a 10-day legal battle earlier this year when Djokovic’s visa was revoked after previously being granted a medical exemption to enter the country.
The nine-time Australian Open winner has repeatedly defended his decision not to get vaccinated, which has seen him sit out several tournaments, most notably the Australian Open and the U.S. Open.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC POINTS TO ‘POSITIVE SIGNS’ AHEAD OF AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2023: ‘I JUST WANT TO PLAY TENNIS’
“I don’t have any regrets. I mean, I do feel sad that I wasn’t able to play, but that was a decision that I made, and I knew what the consequences would be,” he said at the Laver Cup in September. “So I accepted them, and that’s it.”
The Australian Open has been one of Djokovic’s most successful showings — he has won a record nine titles. He expressed his interest to return last month, adding that he holds no grudges over what transpired.
“I really want to go there. I am over what happened this year, and I just want to play tennis. It is what I do best,” he said. “Australia has always been the place where I have played my best tennis. The results speak for themselves, so I am always extra motivated to go there. This time even more so.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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