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Tennis: Djokovic has not forgotten his expulsion from Australia, but wants to “move forward”

Resentful but not too much. Arrived Tuesday, December 27 in Australia, where he must play in Adelaide his first tournament of the year 2023, Novak Djokovic affirmed that he could probably never forget the episode of his expulsion from Australia a year ago, due to his non-vaccination against Covid-19.

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“It’s one of the things that doesn’t let go, that stays with you for, I guess, the rest of your life.admitted the 35-year-old player on the sidelines of a training session. As I said, I had never experienced such a thing, and I hope never to face it again. »

The Serb, world number 5, who will try, from January 16, to win a 22e Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in Melbourne – which would allow him to equal Rafael Nadal’s record -, however, expressed his desire “to move forward”noting in particular the good reception it had received so far.

“I’ve only been here two days; but (…) everyone was very pleasant, extremely kind to me”, he pointed out. ” I have always felt very good in Australia, I have always played my best tennis there and I have had a lot of support there, so I hope to have another great summer.” austral, added the Serb, who has already won the Australian Open nine times.

“It’s good for tennis”

This is Novak Djokovic’s first visit to the mainland island since his expulsion in January, when he had tried, to play in the major tournament, to circumvent the vaccination obligation in force in Australia with a derogation deemed unjustified. by the national authorities.

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This episode had earned him expulsion from the country after a stay in a detention center, criticism from local politicians and a legal action that had kept the world of tennis in suspense. “Nole” had also been sentenced to a three-year inadmissibility, but that was lifted following a change of government in Australia earlier this year.

For his part, Rafael Nadal welcomed the presence of the Serb in Australia. “Novak is here, it’s good for tennis, probably good for the fans”said soberly the Majorcan (world number 2), who participates in the United Cup, a mixed team tournament starting this Thursday in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

The world

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