Novak Djokovic ‘granted visa’ to play Australian Open after ban

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    Novak Djokovic will reportedly be given a visa by the Australian government allowing him to play in the 2023 Australian Open.

    Djokovic had his visa cancelled on the eve of the 2022 tournament due to a lack of Covid vaccination. The visa was revoked on the grounds a recent Covid diagnosis did not justify an exemption to Australia's requirements for visitors to be vaccinated.

    A three-year ban accompanied that decision, though was made by the former Australian government. And the Guardian now report immigration minister, Andrew Giles, will give Djokovic a visa, subsequently overturning that ban.

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    Djokovic was turfed out of Australia just days before the first Grand Slam of the year was due to start at the beginning of 2022.

    Australia has since overturned its requirement for visitors to be vaccinated. Though Djokovic said on Monday he was still waiting for official news over his potential return down under.

    “We are waiting,” he said. “They are communicating with the government of Australia. That’s all I can tell you for now.”

    While director of the Australian Open, Craig Tiley, added: “There’s a normal visa application process that everyone is going through right now, and everyone will go through the right timing.

    “I don’t think there should be any preferential treatment for anyone. But I fully expect to have an answer for everyone by the time that they need to book their flights and come in, including Novak.

    “That’s entirely up to the Australian government. I know Novak wants to come and play and to get back to competing.

    “He loves Australia and it’s where he’s had the best success but the timing [on any announcement] is up to somebody else and we’ll just play that one by ear.

    “He understands the circumstances and everything but he’s got to work it out with the federal government. I’m confident they’ll reach some arrangement and hopefully it’s positive.”

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