Nine-time champion Novak Djokovic says he’s “relieved” the federal government has officially granted him a visa to compete in next year’s Australian Open.
The 21-time grand slam champion was deported from the country in January after having his visa cancelled. The visa ban could have been in force for three years.
Immigration Minister Andrew Giles has approved the Serbian’s application to revoke the cancellation.
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“Since the cancellation of Mr Djokovic’s visa in January 2022, all COVID-19-related Australian border restrictions under the Biosecurity Act 2015 have been removed, including the requirement to provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination status to enter Australia,” a statement says.
“Mr Djokovic has subsequently been granted a temporary visa to enter Australia.”
Speaking after his 6-4, 6-1 win over Andrey Rublev at the ATP Finals in Italy, Djokovic welcomed the decision.
“I was very happy to receive the news,” he said.
“It was a relief, obviously, knowing what I and the people closest to me in my life have been through this year with what happened in Australia and post-Australia.
“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.”
The Serbian is a nine-time winner in Melbourne, including the last three times he’s played the tournament.
He was banned from this year’s event as he wasn’t vaccinated against COVID-19.
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