After being expelled from the country almost a year ago, Novak Djokovic has finally made it to Australia in preparation for his attempt to win his tenth men’s singles championship at the Australian Open.
The 35-year-old was deported the day before the competition in Melbourne because he entered the nation without having had a Covid-19 vaccination. Meanwhile, with a strong level of motivation on Wednesday, Rafael Nadal hailed rival Djokovic’s eagerly awaited return to the Australian Open as “good for tennis” and dismissed claims that this might be his final appearance at the season-opening Grand Slam.
The 36-year-old superstar from Spain is starting his new campaign in the United Cup, a brand-new mixed-teams competition that gets underway Thursday in Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth. It will serve as a warm-up for his defence of the Australian Open championship at Melbourne Park, which he won this year by defeating Russian Daniil Medvedev in a thrilling five-set match.
With 22 Grand Slam championships to Djokovic’s 21 for men, Nadal said he was glad to see his legendary opponent back.