Novak Djokovic receives positive sign over Australian Open return as he awaits ban verdict

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Novak Djokovic has received a positive hint in his wait to learn whether he will be allowed to return to Australia for the first Grand Slam of 2023. The nine-time Australian Open champion was deported ahead of the tournament this year, receiving an automatic three-year ban from returning to the country. But the tournament director and Tennis Australia boss has now hinted that he believes Djokovic will be able to return.

Djokovic is facing an anxious wait to learn whether he can play January’s Australian Open after being deported on the eve of the tournament at the start of this year. Those who are deported from Australia receive an automatic three-year ban from returning to the country but can have this lifted with a successful appeal.

The world No 7 is now waiting to see if this can happen in time for the first Grand Slam of 2023, and has received some positive news as Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley hinted that all of the big names  would be in Melbourne come January.  “We are on track to have all the top players back,” he said on Wednesday during a Melbourne Victory luncheon.

The Tennis Australia CEO also noted that things were very different in the country compared to January, when the country’s then-Immigration Minister Alex Hawke revoked Djokovic’s visa over his ability to “excite anti-vax sentiment” in Australia with his presence as an unjabbed foreign national. 

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