Australian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic holds no grudges, appreciates support as he returns to Melbourne Park

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In the days leading up to in 2015’s Australian Open, then-world No. 1 Novak Djokovic had his visa cancelled and was consequently deported after he declined to abide by the nation’s COVID-19 vaccine required.

But in the year that has actually passed ever since, things have actually altered. A modification in federal government has actually led to Australia dropping its vaccine required for foreign tourists, and Djokovic’s three-year restriction from the nation was reversed in November. As such, a Friday exhibit match in between Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios functioned as a welcome back for the nine-time Australian Open champ, one in which he got a rousing reception from the house crowd.

“I was very emotional, honestly, coming into the court, with the reception that I received. I didn’t know how that’s going to go after the events of last year,” Djokovic informed press reporters on Saturday. “I’m very grateful for the kind of energy and reception, love and support I got last night.”

Emotions were, undoubtedly, a strong part of Djokovic’s much-ballyhooed go back to Australia. In a current interview with Channel 9, Djokovic shared that he felt the media had actually turned him into “the villain of the world” for not getting a COVID vaccine, rather looking for a medical exemption to go into the nation.

However, Djokovic — now the No. 5 gamer on the planet — worried that he does not hold any sensations of animosity versus the country in spite of his treatment by authorities.

“If I do hold the grudges, probably if I’m not able to move on, I wouldn’t be here,” Djokovic stated.

Now back in the Australian Open, Djokovic has a chance to win his 22nd Grand Slam title, which would as soon as again put him even with modern Rafael Nadal on the all-time list. While Djokovic has actually been nursing a hamstring injury, the 35-year-old Serb stated that the injury is “hopefully” not a significant issue.

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