Decision for Djokovic’s return from the Open in the hands of the federal government

Novak Djokovic knows his fate is in the hands of the federal government and whether he will be allowed to compete in the Australian Open next January.

Preparation for this year’s Open has been overshadowed by Djokovic’s unvaccinated status, with the former number one deported on the eve of the event’s opening after the government said he may have disrupted civil order and his presence undermining the nation’s pandemic response.

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With a new federal government, the Serb can apply for an exemption to enter Australia, with the matter to be considered by the new immigration minister. Andrew Giles.

Australian Open chief Craig Tilley said while the tournament would welcome Djokovic back, those involved knew it would depend on the government’s decision.

“What we are saying at this point is that Novak and the federal government need to clarify the situation. And after that we follow all the instructions,” said Mr. Tiley.

“We spoke generally. He said that of course he would like to return to Australia, but he knows it will be a final decision for the federal government.

“We’d love to welcome Novak back – he’s a nine-time champion.”

Mr Tiley said “ideally” Djokovic’s eligibility would be resolved sooner rather than later as the player application deadline nears.

“The Australian Open has a registration deadline in December, so obviously they have to stick to that schedule,” he said.

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