Novak Djokovic continues to train in Melbourne despite the visa uncertainty

Novak Djokovic plays a forehand return during a practice session at the Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday. (AP)
Novak Djokovic plays a forehand return during a practice session at the Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday. (AP)

The Australian Open organisers even listed him as the top-ranked men's singles player for the Grand Slam tournament

by

Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Tue 11 Jan 2022, 4:16 PM

World number Novak Djokovic is back on the Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after he shared images of himself and his team at the iconic venue of the Australian Open.



Djokovic, who is aiming to win his 10th Australian Open title this year, plays a forehand return during a practice session on Tuesday. (AP)
Djokovic, who is aiming to win his 10th Australian Open title this year, plays a forehand return during a practice session on Tuesday. (AP)

The unvaccinated tennis superstar won a court battle on Monday in Melbourne against the Australia government to stay in Australia, having spent four nights in a detention centre amid question marks over the medical exemption he had been granted by the Australian Open organisers.

Djokovic (left) talks to a member of his coaching team during the practice session on Tuesday. (AP)
Djokovic (left) talks to a member of his coaching team during the practice session on Tuesday. (AP)

But since winning the legal battle, Djokovic is back to where he belongs — tennis court — albeit with the threat of deportation still hanging over his head as Australia's immigration minister has the executive power to overturn the court decision and deport Djokovic.

Djokovic takes a drinks break during the practice session on Tuesday. (AP)
Djokovic takes a drinks break during the practice session on Tuesday. (AP)

The 20-time Grand Slam winner, nevertheless, has hit the ground running and spent hours at the Rod Laver Arena, preparing for the year's first Grand Slam of the year.

The Australian Open organisers even listed him as the top-ranked men's player singles player for the Grand Slam tournament which will start on January 17.

If the immigration minister decides against using the executive power, Djokovic will be free to play the Australian Open where he will get a chance to win his record-extending 21st Grand Slam of his incredible career.

Djokovic plays a forehand return during the practice session on Tuesday. (AP)
Djokovic plays a forehand return during the practice session on Tuesday. (AP)

Djokovic currently shares the all-time men's singles Grand Slam record of 20 titles with his two greatest rivals, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

While the 35-year-old Nadal has been seeded sixth in Melbourne this year, Federer has pulled out of the tournament due to injury.

After Novak Djokovic's legal victory, fans celebrated outside an immigration detention hotel where the tennis star was confined. (AP)
After Novak Djokovic's legal victory, fans celebrated outside an immigration detention hotel where the tennis star was confined. (AP)

On Sunday, there were widespread celebrations after the court verdict went in favour of Djokovic, Serbia's biggest national icon.

Dijana Djokovic, mother of the tennis icon, even called his legal win the biggest victory in her son's life.

"We are here to celebrate our son's victory today," Dijana said in a press conference in Serbia on Monday.

(From left) Novak Djokovic's uncle Goran, mother Dijana, father Srdjan and brother Djordje during a press conference in Belgrade on Monday. (AFP)
(From left) Novak Djokovic's uncle Goran, mother Dijana, father Srdjan and brother Djordje during a press conference in Belgrade on Monday. (AFP)

"Our son has always fought for justice. He did nothing wrong. But he was subjected to torture. He fought against that government. He thought he had a right to be there with the visa that he got. So this is the biggest win in his career, it’s bigger than any of the Grand Slams he has won!"

After the dramatic events on Monday, Djokovic thanked all his fans for their support.

"For now I cannot say more but THANK YOU all for standing with me through all this and encouraging me to stay strong," he said on Twitter.

"I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation. Despite all that has happened,I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen. I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans."


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