The Serbin tennis star Novak Djokovic was given a three-year visa ban ahead of the 2022 Australian Open because of his Covid-19 vaccination status. His visa ban was lifted in November, allowing him to enter the country.
Novak Djokovic received a positive welcome in Australia as he made a rare doubles appearance at the Adelaide International.
The 35-year-old, currently world number five ranking star and Canada’s Vasek Pospisil were defeated by Tomislav Bricic and Gonzalo Escobar 4-6 6-3 10-5.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion was greeted with chants of “Novak, Novak” as he walked onto the court & enjoyed overwhelming support from the crowd throughout the match.
He is the top singles seed in Adelaide and will face French Constant Lestin in the first round on Tuesday as he continues his build-up to the Australian Open, the first major of the season starting on January 16.
What happened last year?
Last January, when Djokovic arrived in Australia for the 2022 tournament, Covid-19 cases were rising rapidly and government rules required anyone entering the country to be vaccinated unless they had a valid drug exemption.
Djokovic claimed he received a medical exemption to protect his title after not having been vaccinated as he had recently recovered from Covid but was detained by the Australian Border Force upon entering the country and forced to stay in an immigration hotel.
However, after 10 days of legal arguments, the government ruled that he did not meet the entry requirements, so his visa was canceled and he was automatically banned from entering Australia until 2025.
Immigration Minister Andrew Giles whose government came to power in May and lifted Djokovic’s visa ban in November . Djokovic was delighted to hear the news.