Tennis: Djokovic wants to play the Australian Open in 2023, assures the director of the tournament

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Novak Djokovic intends to play the Australian Open in 2023, tournament director Craig Tiley assured Sunday, believing that the fiasco which led to the expulsion of the world No.1 this year was due to a ” bad communication”.

Asked by Australian public broadcaster ABC whether the world No.1, not vaccinated against covid, intended to return next year to play the tournament despite the events of this year, Mr Tiley said replied: “yes (…) that will be his intention”.

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“At the end of the day, he’s the world No.1 and he really loves the Australian Open,” Mr Tiley added.

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The Prime Minister of the state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, however insisted that Djokovic would only be allowed to play if he was vaccinated.

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“Rafa (Nadal) is right. We could have avoided this whole story if he had just been vaccinated. This person thinks he is more important than the tournament, but he is not,” Daniel Andrews told reporters.

Djokovic has won the Australian Major 9 times (record) and he was aiming for a 10th title this year which would have allowed him to bring to 21 the record of Grand Slam titles which he currently co-holds with Rafael Nadal (who was playing his 8th of final on Sunday) and Roger Federer (absent).

For Tiley, it was “the constant change of conditions” and the “poor communication” with the federal government that led to the expulsion of Djokovic the day before the start of the tournament when he had initially received a waiver signed by the Chief Medical Officer of the Australian Tennis Federation (TA) in order to enter Australia unvaccinated.

Mr Tiley, who is also the chairman of TA, said his body had worked with national authorities, but that due to the evolving nature of the Omicron variant, “there had been a lot of contradictions and complexity in the information received”.

“Even in the past week (since the court decision on Djokovic’s expulsion), things have changed in terms of the measures taken in the face of the pandemic,” he underlined.

To obtain this exemption, the Serb argued that he had contracted the covid in the six months preceding his arrival in Australia. But after ten days of legal proceedings and a few days spent in a detention center, Djokovic was expelled.

Does the Australian Federation expect a lawsuit brought by the player for reimbursement of his legal and travel expenses? “No,” replied Mr. Tiley.

Source From: Google News

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