The No. 1 tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, continues to make headlines for his playing position at the Australian Open 2022, a grand slam tournament he won nine times.
Djokovic spoke openly about his ideas against vaccination against COVID-19, and although he did not confirm his unvaccinated status, he is thought to remain unvaccinated. Djokovic received a medical exemption to travel to Australia, which currently has strict anti-virus rules. The Australian Open also had rules that players must be vaccinated in order to compete.
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After Djokovic arrived in Australia, he was denied access to the country. He appealed against his visa status and won the appeal. He was allowed to enter the country and train for the upcoming grand slam tournament, which begins on Monday, January 17.
However, Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is still reviewing Djokovic’s visa status before he can officially play. The Australian Open draw was delayed by 75 minutes and people suspected Djokovic’s name would not be on the list. But to the surprise of many people, Djokovic is in first place in the men’s singles draw.
The name of the world number one Novak Djokovic is currently on the ticket of the Australian Open, but will he be able to stay?
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Will Novak Djokovic play at the Australian Open 2022?
Djokovic’s gaming status is still unclear as his visa admission is currently being reviewed. However, in the meantime, he is number one for the Australian Open 2022. In the first round of the tournament, which begins on Monday, he will face Serb Miomir Kecmanovic.
It is not clear when Immigration Minister Hawke will have a decision on Djokovic’s visa status. Djokovic’s visa was renewed on Monday, so it will be a whole week until the start of the game. Hawke did not speak publicly in his decision on any update.
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What will happen if Djokovic has to resign from the Australian Open?
If Djokovic’s visa status decision is against a player, he will be deported from Australia and will have to resign from the tournament.
Depending on when the decision comes, he will decide who will replace Djokovic in the tournament if he has to resign. The qualifying tournament before the Australian Open ends on Friday 14 January, after which the full standings will be announced closer to Monday. If Djokovic resigns before the order is announced, then according to the rules of the Grand Slam for 2022, Djokovic will take the place No. 5 Andrey Rublev.
If Monday’s schedule is published before Djokovic’s withdrawal, he will be replaced by a “happy loser”. These lucky losers are players who lose in the qualifying rounds, but get a chance to play in the tournament when the other players have to drop out.
Finally, if Djokovic starts playing in the tournament before deciding on his visa status, his next competitor will advance to the next round.