Nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic will be able to play in next year’s tournament after he confirmed on Wednesday he had been granted a visa to travel.
The 35-year-old Serb, the most successful male player in the tournament’s history, missed this year’s tournament after he was deported over his failure to have a Covid-19 vaccine.
Former world No 1 Djokovic was originally barred from the country until 2025, but that decision has been reversed.
“I was very happy to receive the news yesterday,” Djokovic, whose deportation dominated the build-up to this year’s Australian Open, said after his victory over Andrey Rublev at the ATP Finals in Turin on Wednesday.
“It was a relief obviously knowing what I and people closest to me in my life have been through this year with what happened in Australia and post Australia obviously.
“I could not receive better news for sure – during this tournament as well. Australian Open has been my most successful Grand Slams. I made some of the best memories there.
“Of course, I want to go back there, I want to play tennis, do what I do best, hopefully have a great Australian summer.”
Tournament director Craig Tiley confirmed earlier this month that Djokovic would be welcome in January if he could get a visa, but that Tennis Australia was unable to lobby on his behalf.
In July Australia scrapped a rule that required international travellers to declare their Covid vaccination status, and Djokovic said in October he had received “positive signs” about the status of efforts to overturn his ban.