Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic has been granted a visa to play in the Australian Open in January 2023, Guardian Australia and state broadcaster ABC reported on Tuesday.
Djokovic was deported from Australia in the leadup to the Grand Slam in January after he declined to be vaccinated. The former No. 1 male tennis player in the world, was originally barred from the country until 2025.
However, ABC stated it had confirmed that Australian Immigration Minister Andrew Giles had overturned the ban, allowing Djokovic to compete.
? BREAKING ?@DjokerNole will be allowed to play the 2023 #AusOpen after his visa ban was overturned by the federal government in Australia.
(via @smh) pic.twitter.com/aknZzpU4hM
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) November 15, 2022
A spokesperson for Australia’s immigration ministry declined to comment on the reports.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said this month that Djokovic would be welcome in January if he could get a visa, but that Tennis Australia was unable to lobby on his behalf.
The squeak of the shoes. The slide. THE SHOT.@DjokerNole THINGS ?#NittoATPFinals pic.twitter.com/Um9Kubpt6c
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 14, 2022
Australia in July scrapped a rule that required international travellers to declare their COVID-19 vaccination status, and Mr Djokovic said in October he had received “positive signs” about the status of efforts to overturn his ban.