Australian Open officials will maintain a hands-off approach to the possible return of unvaxxed Novak Djokovic, the event’s top boss confirmed on Wednesday.
TD Craig Tiley made the point clear during the presentation ceremony for January’s first Grand Slam of 2023.
The anti-vaxx Serb who has refused to get COVID-jabbed for months, was deported from Australia last January when he tried to enter the country after being held in immigration detention.
Under normal circumstances, his ban should last for three years – though the penalty can be lifted earlier by government.
But like the US Open, Grand Slam officials said they will not be making any extraordinary efforts to get the ATP No. 7 into the country due to his current health status.
“What we’re saying at this point is that Novak and the federal government need to work out the situation. And then we’ll follow any instruction after that,” Tiley said.
The decision is up against an early December tournament entry deadline.
Djokovoic was banned this season from not only Australia but also the US Open as well as four Masters 1000 events played in North America.
Added Tiley: “We’d like to welcome Novak back – he’s a nine-time champion, adding that the decision would be made “ideally” before the entry deadline.
“There’s an entry deadline in December for the Australian Open, so they’ll obviously have to meet that timeline.”
Djokovic, who has won two recent minor events in as many weeks in Israel and Kazakhstan in order to accumulate ranking points where and when he can, has said he will never get vaccinated.
Main photo:- Craig Tiley and Novak Djokovic with the Australian Open 2022 the trophy at Brighton Beach by Tennis Australia/ FIONA HAMILTON