After several days of uncertainty, Novak Djokovic is allowed to compete in the 2022 Australian Open.
The Serbian tennis star was been in the news lately due to his vaccination status. The situation first arose when Djokovic’s father was interviewed in late 2021 by Serbian media, saying that it wasn’t fair for Australia to force its visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19. With the younger Djokovic unwilling to speak about his vaccination status, many wondered if he’d still compete in this year’s Australian Open.
Fast forward to last week when it was announced that Djokovic had received a medical exemption to play in the tournament. While it seemed like he was in the clear, he was detained by border officials on Jan. 5 and later had his visa cancelled after they said that his exemption reasoning wasn’t valid.
The 34-year-old also allegedly tested positive for COVID on Dec. 16 and was seen taking photographs during public appearances just days later. Understandably, this upset many Australians who have complained about strict protocols in their country.
Nevertheless, Novak Djokovic took to Twitter immediately following his release, saying that he wants to “try to compete” in the major tournament that he’s won a record nine times. He also posted a picture of him practicing in Melbourne.
The situation is far from over, though. While the judge may have dismissed the cancellation of his visa on Monday, Djokovic isn’t in the clear just yet.
After Monday’s ruling, the Australian government released a statement on the situation, saying that Immigration Minister can still cancel the tennis star’s visa and have him deported. While it’s not a guarantee that this will happen, it’s something that is up for consideration. If his visa is cancelled, Djokovic will be barred from Australia for three years.
Either way, tennis fans should know more about the Novak Djokovic situation in the coming days. After all, the 2022 Australian Open is scheduled to begin on Monday, Jan. 17.
2022 Australian Open Odds Still Favor Novak Djokovic
Unless the government does cancel his visa, sportsbooks are operating under the impression that Novak Djokovic will compete at the Australian Open next week. Taking that into account, Bovada is one of the websites listing him as the odds-on favorite (+135) to win the major tournament.
As mentioned before, he’s won the event a record nine times in the past, which is why it makes sense that he’s favored to do it again. Djokovic most recently won the 2021 Aussie Open, defeating Daniil Medvedev (+175) in three sets in the finals. That victory catapulted Djokovic into a successful campaign that also saw him win last year’s French Open, as well as Wimbledon.
Considering everything that’s happened over the last few months, Djokovic will likely want to win the Australian Open to make a statement. Nobody has dominated the tournament as he has and nearly half of his Grand Slam singles victories have come in Australia. Few players could touch him at all this year and it’s not unfathomable to imagine him picking up from where he started — if he’s allowed to play.
Until he’s officially barred from the country, expect Novak Djokovic to remain as many sportsbook’s 2022 Australian Open favorite.
2022 Australian Open Odds
Odds via Bovada as of Monday, January 10
- Novak Djokovic (+135)
- Daniil Medvedev (+175)
- Alexander Zverev (+300)
- Rafael Nadal (+900)
- Jannik Sinner (+2000)
- Stefanos Tsitsipas (+2000)
- Carlos Alcaraz Garfia (+3300)
- Matteo Berrettini (+3300)
- Andrey Rublev (+4000)
- Andy Murray (+4000)
- Casper Ruud (+4000)
- Hubert Hurkacz (+4000)
The complete odds list is available at Bovada.lv.