Novak Djokovic is welcome at Australian Open, says match director; Russian and Belarusian gamers can compete | CNN


Novak Djokovic can be welcomed to play on the Australian Open if he can receive a visa, in response to match director Craig Tiley.

The former world No. 1 was deported from Australia in January following a chronic saga, together with time in detention, stopping his participation on this yr’s Australian Open on account of his refusal to get vaccinated for Covid-19.

Underneath Australian legislation, Djokovic may very well be banned from the nation for 3 years as a result of circumstances surrounding his deportation, although Residence Affairs Minister Karen Andrews didn’t rule out an exemption on the time.

Tiley stated on Wednesday that the Australian Open weren’t in a position to foyer on Djokovic’s behalf on this matter, while explaining he has not been involved with the Australian authorities in regards to the 21-grand slam winner’s visa.

If Djokovic is ready to receive a visa, Tiley stated the nine-time winner of the Australian Open can be permitted to play within the first grand slam of 2023.

“At this level, Novak and the federal authorities must work out the scenario after which we’ll observe any instruction after that,” Tiley advised reporters.

“It’s not a matter we will foyer on. It’s a matter that undoubtedly stays between the 2 of them after which relying on the result of that we might welcome him to the Australian Open.”

Tiley added: “(Djokovic) stated that he’d clearly love to return again to Australia, however he is aware of it’s going to be an final determination for the federal authorities.

“He’s accepted that place. It’s a personal matter between them however we’d wish to welcome Novak again – he’s a nine-time champion – offered he will get the suitable entry necessities into Australia.”

The Serbian additionally didn’t play at this yr’s US Open as he stays unvaccinated in opposition to Covid-19 and US guidelines on the time stipulated that any non-US citizen should be totally vaccinated in opposition to the virus with the intention to obtain a visa and enter the nation.

Tiley additionally stated that Russian and Belarusian gamers might be allowed to take part below a impartial flag within the upcoming Australian Open.

Tennis authorities had prohibited athletes from each nations from competitors at worldwide staff competitions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this yr – they have been allowed to participant at common tour occasions.

Whereas the French Open and the US Open allowed them to compete as neutrals, Wimbledon imposed an outright ban – then world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev was barred from competing in consequence.

“At this level, Russian and Belarusian gamers might be eligible to play within the Australian Open,” Tiley stated. “The one distinction might be that they can not symbolize Russia – can’t symbolize the flag of Russia.

“They can not take part in any exercise such because the anthem of Russia they usually must play as impartial gamers below a impartial identify. However they are going to be welcome to the Australian Open in January.”

The 2023 Australian Open begins on Monday, January 16 in Melbourne.

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