Author: Ryan

Djokovic says he is looking forward to returning to Australia

Djokovic says he is looking forward to returning to Australia

Australia to overturn Djokovic visa ban, paving way for Australian Open return for Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams

The Australian Tennis Association has put into motion a process to have Djokovic travel to Australia in 2015, and is reportedly ready to make the change of visa a requirement for Australia Open participation. The Open, which last hosted Djokovic in 2010, has been the first of the four Grand Slam tournaments to have a host country (and venue) change after the men’s final of the previous year. Djokovic said on Friday it is a “long-term goal” to return to Australia but he believes the next two years, starting with the French Open in June 2016, would be the ideal time to return. Djokovic will also serve a lifetime ban from competing in the International Tennis Federation’s Olympic Games and is banned from any tennis competition under the Tennis Integrity Unit of the International Tennis Federation based on his actions in 2012 and 2013 at Wimbledon. The ITA’s decision to allow Djokovic to compete in the 2014 Australian Open, without a work visa, was a decision made in the wake of the controversy over Djokovic’s verbal abuse of a fan, at the Australian Open in January 2014.

Djokovic, who has won the title at least once every year from 2006 to 2014, is hoping to be one of the few players to win a major in a calendar year since Wimbledon in 2008.

“I’m looking forward to going back and playing in Australia,” he said in Sydney, after being presented with the title.

Asked by a questioner at his press conference Monday about the visa issue, he said: “I can be here. I can play. We can play, I can play any time. We have a great deal of respect for Australia and Australia is a great country, a very beautiful country. They’re great people too. They love tennis. It’s great for everybody. So I’m looking forward to coming back.”

The ITA has issued a notice that it will not allow Djokovic to play in the 2015 Australian Open. (Photo: AP)

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