Novak Djokovic says no hard feelings over COVID vaccine deportation as he targets tenth Australian Open | World News

Novak Djokovic says he is happy to be back in Australia after being deported in January – but admits it is an experience that will stay with him for the rest of his life.

gave 21-time Grand Slam singles champion He was detained at an immigration hotel on arrival in Melbourne 12 months ago and sent home after his visa was revoked for lack of vaccinations.

A famous vaccine skeptic, it was feared that the Serbian star’s presence could inflame anti-vaccine sentiment.

Australia endured one of the world’s toughest coronavirus lockdowns during the pandemic.

Now, there is no need to enter Australia with a vaccine against COVID-19 and after the change of government, Djokovic Successfully challenged the three-year ban. On applying for a visa.

The 35-year-old will start his season at the Adelaide International tournament next week.

Djokovic said in a press conference: “You can’t forget those events. It’s one of those things that stays with you, it stays with you – I think – for the rest of your life. It’s that thing. It was something I had never experienced before, and hopefully never again.

“But it’s a valuable life experience for me. I’ve got to go on. Come back to Australia and tell how I feel about this country, how I feel about playing here.

“I was really hoping to be allowed to go back to Australia and play here because it’s a country where I’ve had great success in my career.

“I always felt great in Australia. I always played my best tennis, I got a lot of support. Hopefully I can have another great summer.”

At the time of his deportation, public sentiment against his admission to the country was high. It remains to be seen how it will be received by the fans in the next month.

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Speaking about his reception so far, Djokovic said: “I’m hoping they’ll be positive. It’s not something I can predict. I’m looking forward to playing good tennis, good emotions and the crowd. I will try my best to bring good feelings.

“I’ve only been here two days. From the hotel people to the airport – to the tournament and club people, everyone has been really, really nice to me. We went out to dinner last night, like All right. All right for now.”

Along with the Australian Open, Djokovic also missed the US Open as COVID rules prevented him from entering the country to compete once again.

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Novak Djokovic lifts the Wimbledon 2022 trophy.

Despite dropping his ranking to five, he will be the favorite to win a record 10th Australian Open title.

He also says he doesn’t have any bad feelings about Melbourne, saying: “That event or those circumstances won’t replace what I’ve had in Melbourne and Australia throughout my career.

“I come with positive feelings, and I’m really looking forward to playing there. It’s been my favorite Slam, and the results are proving it.”

Organizers have announced prize money of A$76.5 million (about £42.7m), a 3.4% increase on last year, with each singles champion taking home A$2.975 million (about £1.66 million). Is.

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