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Djokovic “very happy to receive the news” that he will be able to play Australian Open – updated after official statement

The former world No 1 says he will now be able to plan with certainty for 2023 and that he can’t wait to return to a tournament he has won a record nine times

Novak Djokovic happy AI/Reuters/Panoramic

Novak Djokovic said on Wednesday he was “very happy to receive the news” that he will be able to play at the Australian Open in January.

The former world No 1 was handed a three-year ban from entering Australia after his visa was rescinded in 2022 over his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Djokovic spoke a few hours before the official statement provided by the Australian government, which landed on Thusday morning in Australia.

Djokovic ban cancelled: it’s official

The cancellation has been revoked by the minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles. “Mr Djokovic has been granted a temporary visa to enter Australia” is written in a statement based only on legal considerations.

A change in government in Australia has resulted in a change of policy, as first reported in Australian media on Tuesday, which means Djokovic is now free to play in Melbourne, where he has won a record nine times.

“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”, Djokovic said in Turin on Wednesday, where his 6-4, 6-1 win over Andrey Rublev secured his place in the semi-finals of the ATP Finals. “I could not receive better news for sure – during this tournament as well.”

Djokovic said he will now be able to plan for 2023 with certainty.

Just giving that clarity for the pre-season makes it great for us.

Novak Djokovic

“Of course, knowing that I have clarity now, what I do in the off-season, starting the season in Australia, also of course did relieve some of the pressure me and my team felt,” he said. “Just giving that clarity makes it great for us.

“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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