Novak Djokovic discovered his opponent within the first spherical of the Australian Open however may nonetheless be deported
Novak Djokovic will open the protection of his Australian Open title towards countryman Miomir Kecmanovic after the world primary was included within the draw, though the specter of deportation stays.
Including to the suspense surrounding Djokovic, the primary draw for the Melbourne showpiece was delayed on Thursday amid continued hypothesis that the Serbian star is about to be kicked overseas.
However when it did go forward 75 minutes later than deliberate, Djokovic’s title was included because the nine-time champion was handed a first-round assembly with world quantity 78 Kecmanovic.
The Australian Open will get underway on Monday.
Djokovic and his followers might be hoping he’s nonetheless within the nation at that time because the row rumbles on relating to his proper to be there.
Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has reserved the suitable to intervene in Djokovic’s case after a Melbourne federal circuit court docket decide reversed a choice to cancel the 34-year-old’s visa.
The unvaccinated Djokovic arrived within the nation with a medical exemption after recovering from Covid in December, though federal officers argue that isn’t enough motive for entry.
Fueling rumors across the case, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a press convention on Thursday which some had prompt would talk about Djokovic.
Within the occasion, it was a routine cupboard replace however Morrison did state that the Serbian star’s case was being nonetheless thought-about.
“I’ll consult with Minister Hawke’s most up-to-date assertion in that place hasn’t modified,” he informed reporters.
“These are private ministerial powers capable of be exercised by Minister Hawke.
“I don’t suggest to make any additional remark at the moment.”
Australian Open director Craig Tiley, one of many figures central to the Djokovic visa saga, additionally refused to take questions after Thursday’s draw.
Djokovic addresses claims he misled Australian officers
Djokovic might be aiming to win a twenty first Grand Slam title total if he strains up in Melbourne, which might transfer him forward of nice rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal within the all-time record.
The Serb is the highest seed for this season’s match and his principal menace is seen as coming from second-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia – whom he defeated in final yr’s ultimate.
Medvedev gained a maiden Grand Slam on the US Open in September when he beat Djokovic within the ultimate.
Medvedev, who’s on the opposite aspect of the draw to Djokovic, has been handed a first-round assembly with Swiss participant Henri Laaksonen.
Elsewhere, 2009 champion Nadal will meet America’s Marcos Giron within the opening spherical in Melbourne. Nadal is seeded sixth on this yr’s match.
Within the ladies’s draw, Australian world primary Ashleigh Barty will start her bid for a maiden dwelling Grand Slam towards a qualifier.
Two-time Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka will open her 2022 marketing campaign towards Camila Osorio of Colombia.
Defending champion Osaka and prime seed Barty may meet as quickly because the fourth spherical in Melbourne.
Shock US Open champion Emma Raducanu of Nice Britain will open in Melbourne towards one-time Grand Slam winner Sloane Stephens of the US.