ADELAIDE: Novak Djokovic will begin his bid for a 10th Australian Open title at the Adelaide International, organisers said Wednesday, after the Serbian was granted a visa to enter the country.
The world number five missed the opening Grand Slam of 2022 when he was deported over his vaccine status after a high-stakes legal battle.
Australia has since lifted the requirement for visitors to show proof of Covid vaccination, and his three-year ban was overturned by the government in November.
Djokovic said at the time it was a “relief”.
“The Australian Open has been my most successful Grand Slam,” he added. “I made some of the best memories there.”
Djokovic will face a strong field from January 1-8 that also features Felix Auger-Aliassime, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, ranked six, seven and eight, respectively, along with two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.
His longtime-rival Rafael Nadal, the defending Australian Open champion, will instead use the United Cup, a new mixed teams event in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, as his warm-up to the Grand Slam.
Four of the world’s top 10 women will begin the year in Adelaide, with second-ranked Ons Jabeur, world number five Aryna Sabalenka, world number eight Daria Kasatkina and world number nine Veronika Kudermetova all entered.
The field also includes two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and Grand Slam winners Bianca Andreescu and Jelena Ostapenko.
“We are thrilled to confirm such a world-class lineup for week one of the Adelaide International,” tournament director Alistair MacDonald said in announcing the lineup for the ATP-WTA event.
The Australian Open takes place at Melbourne Park from January 16-29.