Novak Djokovic will always remember the way it felt to be deported from Australia earlier this yr however the Serb mentioned his willingness to return for subsequent month’s Grand Slam at Melbourne Park exhibits the depth of feeling he has for the nation.
Djokovic was deported on the eve of the 2022 Australian Open in January for not being vaccinated towards COVID-19 and acquired a three-year journey ban for the nation.
Nevertheless, the previous world primary’s visa ban was waived in November, opening up a path for Djokovic to focus on a tenth Australian Open crown and giving him an opportunity to tie Rafa Nadal’s mark of twenty-two Grand Slam titles.
“You can’t forget those events, it’s one of those things that stick with you,” mentioned Djokovic in his first information convention since returning to Australia.
“It stays with you for the remainder of your life. It’s one thing I’ve by no means skilled earlier than and hopefully by no means once more, however it’s a precious life expertise for me.
“But I have to move on and coming back to Australia speaks about how I feel about this country and how I feel about playing here.”
Djokovic will heat up for the Australian Open by taking part in within the Adelaide Worldwide beginning on Jan. 1 and he’s hoping for a heat reception from native followers.
“It’s a great place and the people in Adelaide, and generally in Australia, love tennis, love sports and it’s a sporting nation so hopefully we’re going to have a lot of people watching and we can have a good time,” Djokovic mentioned.
“I’m hoping everything is going to be positive. Obviously, it’s not something that I can predict. I’ll do my best to play some good tennis and bring good emotions and good feelings to the crowd.”
Djokovic mentioned his total expertise in Australia had not been soured by what occurred in January.
“What happened 12 months ago was not easy to digest for some time but at the same time I had to move on. Those circumstances will not replace what I have lived in Melbourne and in Australia throughout my entire career,” Djokovic mentioned.
“So I come with positive emotions and I really look forward to playing there. It’s been my favourite Grand Slam, the results prove that.”