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Home Football Novak Djokovic has returned to Australia a year after being deported.

Novak Djokovic has returned to Australia a year after being deported.

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After losing a high-stakes legal battle in January over his vaccine status, the nine-time Australian Open champion was initially barred from entering the country for three years.

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley expressed hope that Djokovic’s return would be welcomed by local fans. “We warmly welcome him back to Australia,” he said to reporters.

“I believe he is on his way to Adelaide as we speak, and I believe he will once again be the player to beat. I have a great deal of faith in the Australian people. I’m confident that the fans will react the way we expect them to.”

Djokovic’s arrival was confirmed by Tennis Australia. Djokovic, who has 21 Grand Slam titles, has been chastised for his role in the saga, which unfolded as anti-vaccination protests raged in Australia’s major cities.

He’ll play in the Adelaide International starting Sunday as a warm-up for the Open in Melbourne. “Over the years, I’ve been really fortunate to start very strong in Australia, and I love playing there,” the world number five said last week in Dubai after finishing 2022 with a record-tying sixth ATP Tour Finals title.

“Obviously, after what happened earlier this year, I’m hoping for a decent reception there and that will help me play some good tennis.”

Djokovic last visited Australia nearly a year ago, claiming he had a medical exemption to enter the country without being vaccinated due to his recovery from Covid-19.

However, Australian border officials determined that he did not meet the requirements for exemption from strict vaccination requirements, and he was detained for five days while pursuing an ultimately futile legal appeal.

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