Novak Djokovic will receive the visa needed to play in the 2023 Australian Open, according to a Tuesday-morning report from the Associated Press.
Australian Minister of Immigration Andrew Giles overturned a potential three-year exclusion period for the No. 8-ranked Novak Djokovic. He was deported and barred from playing the Open in January after losing his final bid to play despite being unvaccinated from COVID-19.
The 35-year-old Serbian entered the last tournament with “a visa he’d obtained online and what he believed to be a valid medical exemption,” according to the Associated Press, only to be turned down at a Melbourne Airport gate. His exemption allowed him to play in the tournament, but not enter the country.
As of July 6, those entering and leaving Australia do not need to provide evidence of their vaccination status and unvaccinated visa holders do not need an exemption to travel to its borders. Masks are also no longer required on flights traveling to Australia.
International travelers are still encouraged to access the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programs.
Novak Djokovic has missed five events in North America since his deportation, including a U.S. Open that featured a win by the No. 1-ranked Carlos Alcaraz over No. 4 Casper Ruud this summer. Djokovic still found his way into the French Open, where he smacked the net in frustration after falling in his 59th match against a long-time rival in No. 2 Rafael Nadal during a grueling quarterfinals match that went well past midnight.
“I don’t have any regrets,” Novak Djokovic told Sports Illustrated in late September. “I do feel sad that I wasn’t able to play (at the U.S. Open), but that was a decision I made.
“I knew what the consequences would be. I accepted them and that’s it.”
The Australian Open will begin on Jan. 16. The tournament will be broadcasted on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN+ and ABC.