Novak Djokovic He will never forget what it felt like to be kicked out of Australia earlier this year, but the Serb said his willingness to return for the Grand Slam at Melbourne Park next month shows his country’s commitment. What a feeling.
Djokovic was kicked out of the 2022 Australian Open in January for not having a vaccine against COVID-19 and imposed a three-year travel ban to the country.
However, the former world number one’s visa ban was lifted in November, opening the way for Djokovic to target a 10th Australian Open crown and match Rafa Nadal’s mark of 22 Grand Slam titles. was found
“You can’t forget those events, it’s one of those things that sticks with you,” Djokovic said in his first news conference since returning to Australia.
“It stays with you for the rest of your life. It’s something I’ve never experienced before and hopefully never again, but it’s a valuable life experience for me.
“But I have to go on and come back to Australia and say how I feel about this country and how I feel about playing here.”
Djokovic will warm up for the Australian Open by playing at the Adelaide International starting January 1 and is hoping for a warm welcome from the local fans.
“It’s a great place and people in Adelaide and in Australia in general, love tennis, love sports and it’s a sporting nation so hopefully we’ll have a lot of people watching,” Djokovic said. And we can have a good time.” .
“I’m hoping that everything is going to be positive. Obviously, it’s not something I can predict. I’ll try my best to play some good tennis and bring good emotions and good feelings to the crowd. ”
Djokovic said that what happened in January did not spoil his overall experience in Australia.
“What happened 12 months ago was not easy to digest for a while but at the same time I had to move on. “These conditions are not going to replace what I’ve been in Melbourne and Australia throughout my career,” Djokovic said.
“So I come with positive feelings and I’m really looking forward to playing there. This has been my favorite Grand Slam, the results prove it.