Novak Djokovic to PLAY at Australian Open: Decision to ban Serb over Covid vaccine reversed

Novak Djokovic found himself barred from the Australian Open in 2021 as a result of his vaccination status.
Novak Djokovic found himself barred from the Australian Open in 2021 as a result of his vaccination status.

The Serb said the decision to allow him to play at the Australian Open is a 'relief'

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Nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic will be able to play in next year's tournament after he confirmed on Wednesday he had been granted a visa to travel.

Novak Djokovic is the most successful player in Australian Open history.
Novak Djokovic is the most successful player in Australian Open history.

The 35-year-old Serb, the most successful male player in the tournament's history, missed this year's tournament after he was deported over his failure to have a COVID-19 vaccine.

Djokovic, the former world number one, was originally barred from the country until 2025 but that decision has been reversed.

"I was very happy to receive the news yesterday," Djokovic, whose deportation dominated the build-up to this year's Australian Open, said after his victory over Andrey Rublev at the ATP Finals in Turin on Wednesday.

Novak Djokovic says the decision to allow him to play at the Australian Open is a 'relief'.
Novak Djokovic says the decision to allow him to play at the Australian Open is a 'relief'.

"It was a relief obviously knowing what I and people closest to me in my life have been through this year with what happened in Australia and post Australia obviously.

"I could not receive better news for sure — during this tournament as well. Australian Open has been my most successful Grand Slams. I made some of the best memories there.

"Of course, I want to go back there, I want to play tennis, do what I do best, hopefully have a great Australian summer."

Tournament director Craig Tiley said this month that Djokovic would be welcome in January if he could get a visa, but that Tennis Australia was unable to lobby on his behalf.

Australia in July scrapped a rule that required international travellers to declare their COVID vaccination status, and Djokovic said in October he had received "positive signs" about the status of efforts to overturn his ban.