Australian Open 2023 information: Novak Djokovic denies fault in visa saga, harm scare


Novak Djokovic has maintained his innocence twelve months after the deportation saga that rocked world tennis and reached the highest ranges of presidency.

Twelve months on from his notorious deportation saga, tennis star Novak Djokovic maintains his visa paperwork was above board.

And whereas he’s hoping for a welcoming reception from a Melbourne crowd, the nine-time Australian Open champion admits he doesn’t know the way he will probably be acquired.

Djokovic, 35, was deported from Australia on the eve of final 12 months’s grand slam amid a coronavirus vaccine stoush that went to the highest ranges of presidency and courtroom and led him to a detention centre that housed refugees.

“I after all can not overlook what occurred final 12 months, however on the similar time, I moved on and I really feel good being right here,” he mentioned.

It was claimed that when Djokovic arrived in Melbourne final January, there was conjecture relating to the validity of his medical exemption that might excuse him from vaccination necessities for entry that had been in place on the time.

He had cited a current Covid an infection as a purpose for not being vaccinated.

Then-immigration minister Alex Hawke deemed that Djokovic’s presence on the Open “could pose a well being danger to the Australian group” given his perception it might encourage anti-vaccination sentiment.

However Djokovic is adamant he “was simply following the principles”.

“My exemption was verified by an unbiased physique, and panel of docs … I got here in with all of the legitimate papers,” he instructed Channel 9 on Wednesday.

“Hastily, I grew to become the villain of the world which was clearly a horrible place to be in as an athlete and somebody who’s seeking to thrive in its personal route of life and career.

“However that’s one thing that I needed to learn to deal with.”

He was housed in a detention facility in Carlton amid an appeals course of earlier than he was finally deported.

“I don’t maintain any grudges,” Djokovic mentioned.

“…Positively not in opposition to the folks of Australia. I believe me being right here proves how a lot I actually need to be right here and the way a lot I need to play, and the way a lot I prefer it.”

Djokovic – a 21-time grand slam winner – mentioned within the weeks that adopted, he had stayed at residence as he waited for the drama to settle.

“(There was) a not nice narrative within the media about me in any respect, and I simply stayed for a number of weeks at residence,” he mentioned.

“I didn’t actually go round an excessive amount of, I simply hoped that the scenario might relax, which it did.

“However the traces keep there. The traces adopted for a number of months after.”

Followers have been warned to be truthful on Djokovic, with match director Craig Tiley saying those that cross the road will probably be booted from the occasion.

“I actually hope that the gang will probably be receiving me nicely,” he mentioned.

“That’s one thing that I can’t predict. I don’t know. I clearly want for a optimistic reception, but it surely’s of their arms.”

Djokovic mentioned he had felt the hamstring that he injured in Adelaide “pulling” and that he didn’t need to danger any additional bother.

“I simply felt it a bit, pulling and I didn’t need to danger something worse,” he instructed Channel 9.

“I performed a set. I apologised to Daniil and he was understanding. I simply need to keep away from any greater scares.”

Novak’s harm scare as star slams boo ban

— Scott Gullan

Novak Djokovic’s sensational return to the Australian Open could have hit a hurdle with the Serbian star showing to be nonetheless hampered by a hamstring harm.

The nine-time champion was compelled to chop quick a scheduled follow match on Wednesday in opposition to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev after requiring medical consideration on plenty of events all through the session on Rod Laver Area.

He complained of hamstring bother final weekend on his approach to the Adelaide Worldwide title.

Djokovic led 3-2 however received only one extra recreation for the set earlier than calling quits on the follow match on Wednesday afternoon.

The harm scare may very well be a catastrophe for Open organisers who’ve promoted a sold-out exhibition match between Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios on Rod Laver Area on Friday night time.

Tickets bought out in 58 minutes for the match with all proceeds going to charity. Will probably be Kyrgios’ first match for the 12 months as he has battled ankle/knee points within the lead-up to the Open.

Djokovic revealed in Adelaide he tweaked his hamstring throughout a semi-final victory over Medvedev earlier than recovering to assert the title over Sebastian Korda 24 hours later.

“I awakened all proper. Went deep into the night time final night time with work achieved with the physio,” Djokovic mentioned final weekend.

“Discuss with the docs, as nicely, of the match . . . a number of instances within the match I felt I used to be tightening up the muscle, however nothing that might fear me for my efficiency.”

The Australian Open draw, the place Djokovic is anticipated to be seeded No.4, is ready to be held at 3pm on Thursday at Melbourne Park.


— Lauren Wooden

Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka says followers ought to have the ability to “do no matter they need” on the 12 months’s opening grand slam.

Event boss Craig Tiley warned followers in Wednesday’s Herald Solar that punters will probably be booted from Melbourne Park in the event that they unfairly goal Serbian star Novak Djokovic, who’s returning to the Australian Open for the primary time since he was sensationally deported from the nation on the eve of final 12 months’s match following a coronavirus vaccine stoush.

Tiley mentioned followers who unreasonably taunt Djokovic and “disrupt the enjoyment of anybody else – increase, they’re out … we don’t need them on web site.”

However Wawrinka, who received the 2014 Australian Open, mentioned “that’s tennis”.

“In the event that they go over the restrict (then sure), however I believe they need to be allowed to do no matter they need,” the three-time grand slam winner instructed the Herald Solar.

“They do it yearly with each participant – in the event that they don’t just like the participant, or they like one other one, they’ll boo one and cheer for the opposite one. That’s tennis. That’s sport. That’s what you need.

“So after all, issues occurred with Novak final 12 months, and I believe there was many errors from totally different (events) – not solely Novak.

“I do imagine they won’t boo him. They are going to be completely happy to see him and it’s going to be an ideal match.”

Wawrinka, 37, was at Child Pizza on Chapel Avenue as he launched his unique “Stan Pizza” along side Piper-Heidsieck.

Simply down the street on the Kooyong Traditional, British champion Andy Murray – who has claimed 5 Australian Open titles and got here again to defeat China’s Zhang Zhizen – mentioned being jeered was “not a pleasant feeling”.

“I don’t essentially like seeing gamers getting booed,” Murray mentioned on Wednesday.

“Clearly anybody’s entitled to reply nevertheless they need once they pay tickets to return and watch.

“It’s not a pleasant feeling for gamers when that occurs. I noticed Novak’s match in Adelaide and he bought nice help there and I’m positive that it’ll most likely be the identical in Melbourne.”

Initially printed as Australian Open 2023 information: Novak Djokovic maintains visa paperwork was above board, Stan Wawrinka responds to boo ban



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