Melbourne Australia — Novak Djokovic He now knows that he will face his Serbian colleague Miomir Kikmanovic In the first round of his Australian Open title defense, if allowed to play.
Djokovic’s visa status dominated attention until Thursday’s draw for the men’s and women’s singles draw arcs for the first major tennis tournament of 2022.
Australia’s immigration minister is still considering whether to leave the nine-time Australian Open champion and self-defense champion, who has not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
So Djokovic is still forgotten.
Djokovic, the top-ranked, had his visa revoked on arrival in Melbourne last week when his vaccination exemption was called into question, but he won a legal battle on procedural grounds that allowed him to remain in the country.
Immigration Minister Alex Hook has been looking into the matter since a judge returned Djokovic’s visa on Monday.
Expectations were raised about a pending decision on Thursday when Prime Minister Scott Morrison called a news conference this afternoon after the national cabinet meeting. Speculation mounted when the tournament draw was pushed back 75 minutes to a time after Morrison’s press conference.
But the wait continued after both events ended, as Morrison referred questions regarding Djokovic to the immigration minister.
“These are personal ministerial powers that Secretary Hook can exercise and I do not intend to make any further comment at this time,” Morrison said.
Australian Open director Craig Tiley also declined to comment after the draw ceremony.
Djokovic, 34, has been trying to focus his attention on the field in the four days since his release from immigration detention. He held a training session at Rod Laver Arena, his fourth this week, in the middle of the afternoon.
If allowed to stay, his bid to win the men’s 21st major title would start against the 78th seed Kecmanovic, and could mean a quarter-final against the 7th seed. Matteo Berrettini And maybe a semi-final match against Rafael Nadal or third class Alexander Zverev, both of which are on the underside of his half in the clouds.
On the women’s side, it ranks first Ash Party And the defending champion Naomi Osaka It ended up in the same section of the lottery, meaning that two of the tournament’s best players could meet in a fourth-round match that looked like a final.
Osaka, ranked number one, slipped down the list due to her lack of matches in 2021 and is ranked 13th.
The withdrawal was delayed amid uncertainty over Djokovic’s visa status. It was scheduled to take place at 3pm local time in Melbourne, but a tournament official told waiting media that the concert had been postponed until further notice and declined further comment. It was later changed to 4:15 p.m. local time.
The Australian Open starts on Monday. Djokovic traveled to Australia in pursuit of his 21st Grand Slam title, breaking the men’s record of 20 titles. Roger Federer and Nadal.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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