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Australia Ban For Novak Djokovic Expected To Be Lifted

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Australia Ban For Novak Djokovic Expected To Be Lifted

Novak Djokovic's pursuit of Rafael Nadal's 22 grand slam titles could be made much easier, with the possibility of his ban from Australia being lifted.

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Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer were all level on 20 slams at the beginning of 2022, as the three men continue to vie for the record of having the most.

Federer's chances of improving his record were already hampered by long term injury and then Djokovic couldn't compete at the Australian Open after being deported for not having had the Covid vaccine.

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That allowed Nadal to open up a gap on his rivals, with a surprise win in Australia and then his 14th title at the French Open, both whilst carrying injuries.

On Sunday, Djokovic halved the gap back to one, by defeating Nick Kyrgios in a very entertaining final at Wimbledon and now the Serb has been handed some more good news.

He is currently banned from entering Australia, after the farce earlier this year, but that ban is now expected to be lifted by new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

According to the Daily Mail, Albanese is a huge tennis fan and doesn't want the tournament in Melbourne 'diluted' in any way, and is in close contact with Tennis Australia over the lifting of the three year ban.

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Djokovic with the trophy he's won four times in-a-row. Image: Alamy
Djokovic with the trophy he's won four times in-a-row. Image: Alamy

There was outrage initially that Djokovic was given an exemption for the first slam of the year, especially as Melbourne had been the most lockdowned city in the world during Covid.

But some of the feeling soon turned in the former world number one's favour because of how the situation was dealt, with even Kyrgios defending the 35-year-old.

If his three year ban to enter the country stands then he would find it far more difficult to hunt Nadal's current slam record down but lifting the ban will make it far more likely, especially as he's won nine times down under.

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It's already tough for Djokovic to catch his rival because he's not allowed into America for the US Open in August, because of his vaccination status.

Serbian fans in Australia protesting Djokovic's ban. Image: Alamy
Serbian fans in Australia protesting Djokovic's ban. Image: Alamy

The US still won't allow those without the vaccine to enter the country, meaning he can't play at Flushing Meadows, even though Americans without the vaccine would be able to.

Speaking about the bans at his celebration in Belgrade, the Wimbledon champion said, "As things stand now, I cannot travel to Australia and the United States, but I am hoping to get positive news.

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"I believe things will change for Australian Open. For the US Open there is not much time, but hope dies last. I would like to play at the US Open and Australia Open, but even if I do not it’s not the end of the world."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Novak Djokovic, Australian Open, US Open, Wimbledon, Tennis

Ryan Sidle
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