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Novak Djokovic will make his highly anticipated return to the Australian Open next week. This, after being banned from the Grand Slam a year ago due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19. While some fans in attendance will inevitably try and cause a scene, tournament organizers will not stand for it.
Djokovic was detained by Australian officials a year ago and ultimately deported from the country due to his personal choice to not receive the vaccine. People deported from the country receive a three-year ban from returning. But that ban has been lifted as The Joker has since made a return trip to Australia.
Djokovic’s return is far and away the biggest story in tennis at the moment. Aussie Open officials will be keeping a close eye on fans as he kicks off his journey for a 10th Australian Open crown on Monday.
“If they disrupt the enjoyment of anyone else – boom, they are out,” Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley told the Herald Sun. “We don’t want them on site. They can stay away or we will kick them out.”
Djokovic Still Affected By Last Year
Just like tennis fans haven’t forgotten last year’s dramatic saga, Djokovic hasn’t forgotten about how things occurred either.
He says he’ll never be able to forget that experience.
“Obviously what happened 12 months ago was not easy for me, for my family, team, anybody who is close to me,” he said. “It’s obviously disappointing to leave the country like that.”
“You can’t forget those events. It’s one of these things that stays with you for, I guess, the rest of your life. It’s something that I’ve never experienced before and hopefully never again. But it is a valuable life experience for me and something that as I said will stay there, but I have to move on.”
Djokovic, the four-seed, will take on Spaniard Roberto Carballes on Monday.