As always in the past 17 years, Novak Djokovic trained on Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park on Monday night ahead of the season’s first Major. The 20-time Major champion enjoyed one of his most desired practice sessions in Melbourne after everything going on since he landed in Australia last Wednesday night. After being silent for a couple of weeks and skipping the ATP Cup, Novak left Marbella and flew to Melbourne across Dubai, hoping to enter Australia with an “exemption permission.” Instead, the federal government refused to approve Novak’s visa, keeping the world’s leading player at the airport for ten hours and deporting him to an immigration detention hotel. Novak and his lawyers appeared in court on Monday, hoping to defend his case and maintain in Melbourne until the final decision. Judge Kelly stated it appeared Djokovic had received the required medical exemption from the coronavirus vaccination before he traveled to Melbourne to kick off his season and presented evidence of that when he landed on Wednesday evening.
Novak Djokovic trained on Rod Laver Arena on Monday night after all the problems.
Novak is free to walk around Melbourne, and he used that for his first practice session at Melbourne Park while waiting for the final call from the authorities. If everything goes right, world no. 1 will chase the tenth Australian Open crown, dominating this event since 2011 and winning three consecutive titles since 2019. Djokovic was a player to beat at Majors in 2021, winning 27 out of 28 matches and falling on the last step while chasing the first calendar Grand Slam since 1969. The Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon crowns propelled Novak towards 20 Major trophies.
He matched Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and he looks motivated to pass them in the season ahead of us. Novak is the most decorated player at the Australian Open. He should be the top favorite for another title alongside Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev if everything goes right in the next couple of days and if he takes the pressure away from his back. Djokovic experienced an abdomen injury in the third round against Taylor Fritz last year in Melbourne, battling against three rivals and the pain before returning at his best in the semi-final and the title clash. Last year, Novak became the first player with 350 weeks as world no. 1 and secured his seventh year-end no. 1 honor to pass Pete Sampras. Djokovic also claimed the 37th Masters 1000 title in Paris and became the first player with two titles at all four Majors in the Open era.