The Australian newspaper Guardian and the public broadcaster ABC both reported on Tuesday that Novak Djokovic has been given a visa to compete in the Australian Open in January.
The Serbian Djokovic was expelled from Australia before the Grand Slam in January after refusing to get inoculated. Initially, the former world No. 1 was prohibited from entering the nation until 2025. The ABC reported that it had been confirmed that Minister of Immigration Andrew Giles had lifted that prohibition, allowing Djokovic to compete. The immigration ministry of Australia’s spokesman declined to respond to the reports.
Craig Tiley, the director of the Australian Open, stated this month that Djokovic would be welcome in January if he could obtain a visa, but Tennis Australia was powerless to advocate on his behalf.
The Australian government repealed a law requiring travellers to indicate whether they have had their COVID-19 immunization in July. In October, Djokovic stated that the status of his efforts to have his ban lifted had shown “promising indicators.”
The centre-left administration of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, which has taken over from the conservative coalition in charge when the tennis star’s visa was denied, has the option to reverse Djokovic’s three-year suspension.
When Djokovic was deported, opposition lawmaker Karen Andrews, who was minister of Home Affairs at the time, claimed that he shouldn’t receive preferential treatment.
“It would be a slap in the face for those people in Australia who did the right thing, got vaccinated, did everything they needed to do if all of a sudden Novak Djokovic is allowed back into the country simply because he is a high-ranking tennis player with many millions of dollars,” last month she told this to ABC on the radio.
If Djokovic does manage to travel to Australia, he will be attempting to win and equal Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slam victories.