Novak Djokovic reached the semifinals early at the ATP finals in Turin. The five-time tournament winners also won their second group match with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Russia’s Andrei Rublev and made it into the last four for the eleventh time. Djokovic was there in the crucial phase of a tight first set. He made almost inevitable mistakes and quickly pulled away 3-0 in the second round. Rublew, who had defeated compatriot Daniil Medvedev in his first duel, then had no chance.
had the day before Djokovic according to media reports, received the good news that he was allowed to play again at the Grand Slam in Melbourne. As reported by the Guardian Australia and TV broadcaster ABC, among others, the Serbian tennis star will get a visa despite his entry ban issued at the beginning of 2022. Nothing would stand in the way of the hunt for his tenth title at the Australian Open. The athlete himself was clueless on Monday evening after his opening win against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in Turin and said that he hadn’t heard anything official yet. His lawyers are “talking to the Australian government. I can’t say more right now.”
Djokovic had tried to enter Australia without a corona vaccination in early 2022, but his visa was declared invalid. After days of forced quarantine in a deportation hotel and several court hearings in Melbourne, he had to leave the country one day before the start of the Australian Open. He was also given a three-year entry ban for the country.
The Australian Open will be the first Grand Slam tournament of the coming year from January 16th to 29th. Tournament boss Craig Tiley was confident that Djokovic can play. He pointed out that there is a normal application process for a visa. “I don’t think there should be any preferential treatment for anyone. But I expect to have an answer in time for everyone to book the flights and get into the country, including Novak.”
Should Djokovic actually get his visa, he can also thank the new Australian government around Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. It is pursuing a different course than the predecessors of the conservative coalition. Entry into Australia is now possible again without proof of vaccination. According to the Guardian, Djokovic will get the visa from the new immigration minister, Andrew Giles.
There was criticism from the opposition. “It would be a slap in the face to all the people in Australia who did the right thing and got vaccinated if Novak Djokovic is suddenly allowed to come back to the country just because he’s a multi-million dollar, senior tennis player,” Karen said Andrews on ABC radio. The 62-year-old was Interior Minister when Djokovic was expelled in January.