Djokovic headlines Adelaide International



ADELAIDE:

Novak Djokovic will begin his bid for a 10th Australian Open title at the Adelaide International, organisers said Wednesday, after the Serbian was granted a visa to enter the country.

The World number five missed the opening Grand Slam of 2022 when he was deported over his vaccine status after a high-stakes legal battle.

Australia has since lifted the requirement for visitors to show proof of Covid vaccination, and his three-year ban was overturned by the government in November.

Djokovic said at the time it was “a relief”.

“The Australian Open has been my most successful Grand Slam.” he added. “I made some of the best memories there.”

Djokovic will face a strong field from January 1-8 that also features Felix Auger-Aliassime, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, ranked six, seven and eight, respectively, along with two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.

His long-time rival Rafael Nadal, the defending Australian Open champion, will instead use the United Cup, a new mixed teams event in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, as his warm-up to the Grand Slam.

Four of the world’s top 10 women will begin the year in Adelaide, with second-ranked Ons Jabeur, World number five Aryna Sabalenka, World number eight Daria Kasatkina and World number nine Veronika Kudermetova all entered.

The field also includes two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and Grand Slam winners Bianca Andreescu and Jelena Ostapenko.

“We are thrilled to confirm such a world-class lineup for week one of the Adelaide International,” tournament director Alistair MacDonald said in announcing the lineup for the ATP-WTA event.

The Australian Open takes place at Melbourne Park from January 16-29.



Originally published at tribune.com.pk

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