Djokovic to ‘gift fans with free tickets’ in Australian Open return

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Novak Djokovic looks set to offer his Australian fans a gift upon his return Down Under after having his three-year ban lifted by the country’s Immigration Minister. The world No 8 will be bidding to win a record 10th title at the Australian Open after being deported on the eve of the tournament at the start of this year and will reportedly be buying tickets for his fans to thank them for their support in his first appearance at Melbourne Park since his visa saga.

Djokovic will return to Australia in January for the first time he was deported at the start of this year. The 21-time Grand Slam champion hit headlines when he had his visa cancelled twice when arriving in Melbourne ten months ago, spending time in a government detention hotel before he was ultimately forced to leave the country the night before the Australian Open started.

As a result of his deportation he automatically received a three-year ban from returning to the country but successfully appealed, as earlier this week the Immigration Minister confirmed he had lifted Djokovic’s ban and would grant the 35-year-old a temporary visa to compete at the Australian Open. And the Serb is now set to be giving back to his Australian fans after a turbulent time, as he will reportedly buy them tickets to attend his matches.

During the 35-year-old’s match against Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Finals on Friday, Mark Petchey revealed Djokovic’s plans for Australia. “A lot of Serbians will be in the Rod Laver Arena as well,” Petchey said on Amazon Prime, referring to the world No 8’s fans.

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And the former pro-turned-pundit explained that Djokovic was planning to buy out some tickets to his matches in Australia and gift them to his supporters, adding: “I believe if reports are true that he’s going to buy a bunch of tickets and give them out to his fans down in Australia when he makes his welcome re-return Down Under.”

It comes after Djokovic shared the relief of the news that the Australian government had overturned his ban. “Of course, I was very happy to receive the news yesterday,” he said following his ATP Finals win over Andrey Rublev on Wednesday – a day after news broke that he had been allowed to return to Australia.

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“Yeah, it was a relief obviously knowing what I and people closest to me in my life have been through this year with what happened in Australia and post Australia obviously. I could not receive better news for sure.”

The first Grand Slam of the season has been Djokovic’s hunting ground throughout his career as his most successful tournament, where he holds the record for more titles won. And he is bidding to extend that record come January, as he added: “Australian Open has been my most successful Grand Slam. I made some of the best memories there. Of course, I want to go back there, I want to play tennis, do what I do best, hopefully have a great Australian summer.”

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