Novak Djokovic receives travel visa, eligible to play in Australian Open

 

The Australian government confirmed on Wednesday that Novak Djokovic has been granted a travel visa, making him eligible to participate in the Australian Open in January.

“I was very happy to receive the news yesterday. It was a relief, obviously, knowing what I and the people closest to me in my life have been through this year with what happened in Australia and post-Australia,” Djokovic said, via Tennis.com. “Australian Open has been my most successful Grand Slam. I made some of the best memories there. Of course, I want to go back there, I want to play tennis, do what I do best, hopefully have a great Australian summer.”

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays against Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia during the 2022 French Open at Roland Garros on May 27, 2022 in Paris, France.
(Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Djokovic did not play in the tournament last year due to his vaccination status against COVID-19. He did receive a visa to travel to Australia on Nov. 18 of last year, but was detained by the Australian Border Force after they determined he did not meet requirements to enter the country, despite originally receiving a medical exemption. His visa was canceled, he was held in an immigration detention hotel, and he was eventually deported.

He was unable to play in the U.S. Open this past summer, as well, as he was unable to travel into the country based on his vaccination status. Australia has since lifted some of its restrictions.

“I was never against vaccination but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body,” Djokovic told BBC in an interview earlier this year.

Defending men’s champion Serbia’s Novak Djokovic gestures during a practice session on Margaret Court Arena ahead of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.
(AP Photo/Mark Baker)

NOVAK DJOKOVIC TO RETURN TO AUSTRALIA AFTER THREE-BAN OVERTURNED: REPORTS

“I don’t have any regrets. I mean, I do feel sad that I wasn’t able to play, but that was a decision that I made, and I knew what the consequences would be,” he said at the Laver Cup in September. “So I accepted them, and that’s it.”

Nine of Djokovic’s 21 grand slams have come in the Australian Open — he had won the previous three before this past year’s.

Multiple reports on Tuesday indicated that Immigration Minister Andrew Giles had overturned a potential three-year ban for Djokovic, which followed a 10-day legal battle earlier this year when Djokovic’s visa was revoked after previously being granted a medical exemption to enter the country.

Djokovic won the Wimbledon last year and advanced to the quarterfinals of the French Open.

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic returns the ball during an exhibition match in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on July 13, 2022.
(Photo by Nedim Grabovica/Xinhua via Getty Images)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

He is currently in the ATP Finals in Italy. The Australian Open begins Jan. 16.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.