Whatever the outcome of this politico-judicial-health imbroglio, no one will emerge a winner from « Djokogate ». Neither the Australian government, accused of having used it for political ends, nor Tennis Australia – the Australian Tennis Federation, singled out for its casualness – and even less Novak Djokovic.
Friday January 14, three days before the start of the Australian Open (January 17 to 30), the world number one saw his visa canceled a second time, « On health and public order bases ». Australian justice, however, agreed to postpone his deportation from the country until the legal proceedings were completed.
The draw for the first Grand Slam tournament of the season reserved for the Serbian a first round against his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic (78e worldwide). If the number 1 at ATP is deprived of defending his trophy, his return trip to the antipodes will have cost him dearly.
In the event that his visa was finally withdrawn, he would risk up to three years of being barred from entering the country. Suffice to say a near-end of career in a tournament where he is almost at home: nine times winner (a record) and triple title holder. In a message posted on his social networks Monday after a judge had nullified the first cancellation of his visa, the person had displayed his determination: “Despite everything that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete in the Australian Open. I stay focused on this. « All accompanied by a photo taken on his favorite playground, where he trained for the last few days as if nothing had happened.
If absent, he would miss another opportunity to make history, as a 21e Grand Slam title, which would finally allow him to overtake his two historic rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, extends his arms to him. Last season, the Serbian was very close to fulfilling this obsessive quest which would make him the sole master of the tennis world… except for a victory – at the US Open, beaten in the final by the Russian Daniil Medvedev. A coronation which would have seen him at the same time succeed in the calendar Grand Slam, namely winning the four major tournaments in a calendar year.
Damage to its image
Not to mention that a non-participation in the Australian fortnight would be potentially prejudicial to him in the standings: according to the results in Melbourne of his dolphins Daniil Medvedev (no 2) and Alexander Zverev (no 3), he could give up his place on the throne at the end of the tournament.
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