Australian Open chief asked about Novak Djokovic’s reception in return to Melbourne

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley expects the Australian crowd to treat Novak Djokovic “fairly” in the Serb’s return to Melbourne Park. 

Last week, the Australian government rescinded Djokovic’s three-year ban from entering the country. 

With Djokovic set to return to Australia, some feel the Serb may not enjoy a very warm return to Melbourne Park. 

“I have a great deal of confidence in the Australian sporting public and our crowds – we’re a very fair crowd. We celebrate success, and we reward that. Of course, we support the Aussies, and we want the Aussies to do well. What a great year we had with Ash [Barty] winning. I think the Australian public will enjoy coming to the Australian Open and I think they will welcome all players in a fair way,” Tiley said, per The Age.

Tiley: Djokovic will be determined to make a statement

Djokovic, 35, won one Grand Slam title this year and he is currently the fifth-ranked player in the world. 

Now that 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz is a Grand Slam champion and the youngest No 1 in tennis history, Tiley expects Djokovic to probably be extra motivated at Melbourne Park. 

“I think this could be the year. I’ve been around long enough to know that the Australian Open unearths and uncovers the greats of the future. If you look at [Djokovic’s] form – you can argue he’s the best player in the world. He’s an unbelievable tennis player and this is the place he’s won the most. He’ll be very hungry to not let the young guns on the men’s side take the title from him,” Tiley said. 

Throughout his career, Djokovic has enjoyed lots of success at Melbourne Park. 

At the Australian Open, Djokovic is a record nine-time champion. 

Now that Djokovic has been allowed to return to Australia, many believe he will be the top favorite for the Australian Open title.