Novak Djokovic will be allowed to play at the 2023 Australian Open despite three year ban
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Tennis legend Novak Djokovic will have his three year visa ban overturned by Australian Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, giving the Serbian the chance to chase down his 22nd Grand Slam win.
The ABC confirmed reports that the ban has been overturned.
Although Covid-19 mandates no longer stand in the way of the former world number one, Djokovic told reporters on Monday (November 14) that his lawyers were still waiting to hear from the Australian government in relation to his three year ban.
"Nothing official yet. We are waiting. They are communicating with the government of Australia. That's all I can tell you for now," the Tennis star told the press after winning his first match at the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy, as per AAP.
He told Serbian website Sportal that there seemed to be 'positive signs' coming from officials Down Under, however nothing had been confirmed yet.
"I hope to have an answer in the next few weeks - whatever that answer might be, but of course I am hoping for a positive one - so that I have enough time to prepare for the start of the season, if that start is going to happen in Australia," Djokovic said.
“I really want to go there, I am over what happened this year and I just want to play tennis, it is what I do best."
He added: "Australia has always been the place where I have played my best tennis, the results speak for themselves, so I am always extra motivated to go there. This time even more so. I am hoping for a positive answer."
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley told AAP that he was optimistic for Djokovic before the news of the visa ban lift broke.
"There's a normal visa application process that everyone is going through right now, and everyone will go through the right timing," Tiley said.
"I don't think there should be any preferential treatment for anyone."
Tiley said while it was ultimately up to the Australian government, he knows that Djokovic is keen to play in Melbourne.
"He loves Australia and it's where he's had the best success, but the timing is up to somebody else and we'll just play that one by ear," Tiley said.
Djokovic was booted out of Australia on January 16 after refusing the Covid-19 vaccine.
The former world number one copped a three year ban from travelling Down Under after he was caught flouting the nation's strict Coronavirus regulations.
Then-Immigration Minister Alex Hawke cited 'health' and 'good order' under section 133C (3) of the Migration Act as grounds for booting the Serbian out of the country.