Playing the Australian Open arguably means more to Novak Djokovic than anyone else as the Serb has won the Grand Slam Down Under a record of nine times.
In 2021, the tennis legend was unable to defend his title as his visa was revoked the night before the event after a 10-day legal process over his vaccination status against coronavirus.
The next Grand Slam on the tennis calendar is the 2023 Australian Open, which is slated for Jan. 16-29. Here’s everything you need to know about whether Djokovic can compete at the first Grand Slam of the new year:
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Can Novak Djokovic play the 2023 Australian Open?
Whether Novak Djokovic can play the 2023 Australian Open is unclear as of Oct. 26, however, he said there are "positive signs" that he will be able to enter the country in January.
"I hope to have an answer in the next few weeks - whatever that answer might be, but of course I am hoping for a positive one - so that I have enough time to prepare for the start of the season, if that start is going to happen in Australia," he said.
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An immigration lawyer from Melbourne says Djokovic may be deemed access into the country if he applies for a visa.
The Serbian has to write a personalized letter to the Australian Border Force, explaining his exceptional circumstances. He must request any ban on re-entry to Australia to be waived, which Australian Border Force officials said is possible in certain circumstances. He received a ban in Jan. 2022 when his visa was revoked due to his vaccination status.
"I have that ban, I hope it will be lifted. As I said, it is not in my hands, I hope the people in the Australian Government will give a positive answer, that is all." Djokovic said
Immigration lawyer Kon-ming Tsai said he thought it would “be in Australia’s best interests” to allow Djokovic entry for the 2023 tournament.
“There is no risk factor here with allowing him back in,” Tsai told the Associated Press on Thursday. “He’s not going to create a problem for the community. He is one of the world’s best tennis players and will be able to pull in a lot of foreign visitors.”
Djokovic has won the Australian Open nine times total, with the last Grand Slam title Down Under, which occurred in 2019.
Djokovic has not revealed if he will apply for a visa to compete at the 2023 Australian Open.
Is Novak Djokovic vaccinated?
Novak Djokovic is unvaccinated.
"For the choices I made, I knew there would be certain consequences like not going to America. For Australia it was a different case, I had the exception, but in the end it did not work out. We know what happened, let's not go back," Djokovic said.
After the 2022 Australian Open, Djokovic said he would keep an open mind about getting the immunization but ultimately decided against it.
Australia changed its border rules on July 6, which no longer require incoming travelers to provide proof of getting the vaccine. This increases the potential Djokovic will be approved.
What is Novak Djokovic’s net worth?
Novak Djokovic has an estimated net worth of $220 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
His earnings each year have to do with how well he does in tournaments, especially Grand Slam events.
In 2022, Djokovic missed the Australian Open and U.S. Open, contributing to a massive paycheck cut for the year.