‘I want to be there’: Novak Djokovic holds hope for a return to Australia

Jul 15, 2022
Novak Djokovic expresses desire to return to Australia. Source: Getty

Novak Djokovic has already turned his focus on what’s next for his career after winning his 21st grand slam at Wimbledon on July 10, expressing his hope to return to Australia despite his deportation in January 2022.

Known for his anti-vaccination stance, the tennis star’s ambition to take the record for grand slams off Rafael Nadal who has 22, is on hold as it’s unlikely Djokovic will play at the US Open in August due to the country’s strict border laws prohibiting unvaccinated people from entering the country.

Djokovic has been vocal on his refusal to get the Covid-19 jab which saw his Australian visa cancelled, forcing him to forfeit his opportunity at the 2022 Australian Open.

The controversial sportsman revealed his desire to return to Australia for the 2023 Australian Open in January, to reporters at the Bosnian tennis centre.

“I was deported from the country to which I would like to come back,” Djokovic said.

“I would love to come back to Australia. I love Australia, I had my best Grand Slam results in that country. Hopefully, in January, I can be there because I want to be there, and I also want to be in New York. I want to be in America, I want to be everywhere I can possibly play.

“I am a professional tennis player, I don’t go into politics or anything else because that doesn’t interest me. I have my stance and I am a proponent for freedom to choose what is best for you. I respect everything and everybody, and at least I expect people to respect my decision.

“If I have permission, I’ll be there. If I don’t, I won’t be there – it’s not the end of the world.

Djokovic said he’s not worried to miss out on grand slam opportunities.

“I still feel young in my own skin, I feel I have many more years to come so there will be a lot of opportunities,” the athlete said.

Despite saying he doesn’t “go into politics”, the Serbian tennis player has been politically outspoken, most recently slamming the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) in April for their decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in this year’s Wimbledon tournament due to the “unjustified” invasion of Ukraine.

“I will always condemn war, I will never support war being myself a child of war… However, I cannot support the decision of Wimbledon, I think it is crazy,” he said at the Serbia Open in Belgrade.

“The players, the tennis players, the athletes have nothing to do with it (war). When politics interferes with sport, the result is not good.”

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