Novak Djokovic already knows Australian Open withdrawal deadline as authorities step in

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Djokovic is hoping he will be allowed to compete at the 2023 Australian Open after being banned from the country until 2025 as an automatic result of when he was deported at the start of this year. Craig Tiley – tournament director and boss of Tennis Australia – has confirmed that they will not be lobbying the government over Djokovic’s ban as the decision rests with them and Immigration Minister Andrew Giles.

But the nine-time champion Down Under will be hoping to get an answer before December, with all tournaments – including the Australian Open – having an entry list deadline that comes six weeks before the first day of play. It means that the world No 7 would have to withdraw from the tournament if a decision is made against him after this deadline.

“We’d like to welcome Novak back – he’s a nine-time champion,” Tiley said at the launch of the 2023 Australian Open on Wednesday. While Tennis Australia was not getting involved in the matter after arranging a medical exemption for Djokovic to enter the country unvaccinated this year, Tiley said the government would “ideally” make their decision before the entry list deadline.

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He added: “There’s an entry deadline in December for the Australian Open, so they’ll obviously have to meet that timeline.” The situation will feel like deja vu for Tiley and Tennis Australia after months of speculation over whether Djokovic would be playing the 2022 Aussie Open as an unvaccinated player when the jab was mandatory for all people entering the country.

The 21-time Major champion arrived in Melbourne in January with a medical exemption received from Tennis Australia on the grounds that he had contracted Covid in December 2021 but had his visa revoked and was kept in a government quarantine hotel. He successfully appealed but had his visa cancelled for a second time by the then-Immigration Minister and failed in his second appeal, getting deported on the eve of the tournament.


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