Melbourne: Novak Djokovic and Ash Barty head the seeded players’ list in men and women’s singles respectively of the Australian Open, released on Tuesday.
Djokovic, the Serbian world No.1 and a nine-time winner here, has resumed training in Melbourne to vie for a record 21st Grand Slam victory as the tennis star waits for the Australian government to decide if it will seek to deport him for a second time.
The Serbian was released from detention late Monday after a judge overturned the cancellation of his visa, saying the unvaccinated player wasn’t given enough time to fully respond to border officials who denied him entry to Australia. Despite the ruling, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is considering whether to exercise his own personal power to cancel the visa again.
“In line with due process, Minister Hawke will thoroughly consider the matter,” a spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday.
The federal government is also looking into a discrepancy on Djokovic’s travel declaration form that he used to enter Australia, The Age newspaper reported, without naming sources. The document incorrectly stated that he hadn’t visited any other countries in the two weeks prior to his arrival, the paper said.
Djokovic told border officials on arriving in the country that Tennis Australia had completed the form on his behalf. A spokesperson for the immigration department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Judge Anthony Kelly said in his decision on Monday that Djokovic faced harm to his personal and professional reputation from the court proceedings that took place that day. He also warned that any attempt by minister Hawke to use his personal cancellation powers could mean that Djokovic wouldn’t be able to return to Australia for three years.
“I’m pleased and grateful that the judge overturned my visa cancellation,” Djokovic said in a tweet late Monday. “Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete at the Australian Open. I remain focused on that.”
The Association of Tennis Professionals, male players’ global governing body, echoed the judge’s comments on Tuesday, saying it was clear that Djokovic had obtained the necessary medical exemption to play in Australia. It conceded that Australians had made many sacrifices during the pandemic and still strongly recommended vaccination for all players.
“Complications in recent days related to player entry into Australia have, however, highlighted the need for clearer understanding, communication and application of the rules,” ATP said in a statement.
1. Novak Djokovic, Serbia
2. Daniil Medvedev, Russia
3. Alexander Zverev, Germany
4. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Greece
5. Andrey Rublev, Russia
6. Rafael Nadal, Spain
7. Matteo Berrettini, Italy
8. Casper Ruud, Norway
9. Felix Auger-Aliassime, Canada
10. Hubert Hurkacz, Poland
11. Jannik Sinner, Italy
12. Cameron Norrie, Britain
13. Diego Schwartzman, Argentina
14. Denis Shapovalov, Canada
15. Roberto Bautista Agut, Spain
16. Cristian Garin, Chile
17. Gael Monfils, France
18. Aslan Karatsev, Russia
19. Pablo Carreno Busta, Spain
20. Taylor Fritz, United States
1. Ash Barty, Australia
2. Aryna Sabalenka, Belarus
3. Garbine Muguruza, Spain
4. Barbora Krejcikova, Czech Republic
5. Maria Sakkari, Greece
6. Anett Kontaveit, Estonia
7. Iga Swiatek, Poland
8. Paula Badosa, Spain
9. Ons Jabeur, Tunisia
10, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia
11. Sofia Kenin, United States
12. Elena Rybakina, Kazakhstan
13. Naomi Osaka, Japan
14. Simona Halep, Romania
15. Elina Svitolina, Ukraine
16. Angelique Kerber, Germany
17. Emma Raducanu, Britain
18. Coco Gauff, United States
19. Elise Mertens, Belgium
20. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic