Adelaide International tournament director Alistar MacDonald believes Novak Djokovic has a great fan base in Adelaide and he expects the Serb to definitely play at the tournament in early January. At the start of the 2021 season, Djokovic was in Adelaide as he spent quent two weeks in before withdrawing from his exhibition match against Jannik Sinner because of a blister on his hand.
After announcing his withdrawal, Djokovic showed up on the court and played a set against Sinner. “We saw in those two weeks that Djokovic was in quarantine here in Adelaide that he has a check of a lot of fans here.
Ultimately, in the end he did play that year and of course things can go wrong, but he’s committed and we expect he will play again,” MacDonald told News Corp.
MacDonald on Djokovic’s reception in Australia
In early 2022, Djokovic was deported from Australia and handed a three-year ban from entering the country.
Last month, the Australian government rescinded Djokovic’s three-year ban from entering the country. Djokovic will make his Australia return in Adelaide and tournament director MacDonald is hoping the Serb receives a warm welcome.
“Covid was a pretty tough time for everyone and his experience probably didn’t go the way he wanted it to last year, but 2023 is a fresh start. It’s probably not our position to judge how he will be received, but he’s a great player and will certainly drive interest in the event,” MacDonald explained.
While Djokovic was awaiting for the court to decide his Australia visa fate, some Australians were openly lobbying for the Serb to be deported. Because of that, some believe that Djokovic may not receive a very warm welcome when he returns to Australia in January.
After Adelaide, Djokovic will travel to Melbourne, where he will be hoping to win a record 10th Australian Open title. It remains to be seen if Djokovic can kick off his season with an Adelaide victory.