Novak Djokovic is welcome at Australian Open, says tournament director; Russian and Belarusian players can compete elsewhere
Novak Djokovic was once again embraced by the Australian Open’s public relations team when it released an official statement on Twitter on Monday night.
Djokovic and his agent, Boris Ilić, said the world number one’s withdrawal from Indian Wells was due to a “miscommunication with the federation” as he continued to prepare his body for the Australian Open.
The news that Djokovic was ready for the start of the Australian Open, which begins on Friday 28 January, is another feather in his cap and a boost for the tournament as the first major of 2018.
There were mixed feelings surrounding the news from Djokovic’s camp.
Some expressed sadness, as while he has missed only two matches this season, the absence has affected his progress and a run out in the second round at the Australian Open was no longer out of the question.
Others were more positive about the news, and expressed belief Djokovic was taking the right decision, as his body needed time to recover from a major operation in late 2017.
But the news was a blow to tennis Australia, and with the tournament already four weeks away, they decided to go beyond the statement and released a statement of their own.
“Novak Djokovic has asked to be granted a wildcard to play at the Australian Open – this is the decision of the player and not of the [ATP] or the Association of Tennis Professionals Inc,” read the statement by the tournament. “The decision of Novak Djokovic has not changed the decision of the Associations of Tennis Professionals Inc. and the International Tennis Federation.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Novak Djokovic has asked to be granted a wildcard to play at the Australian Open – this is the decision of the player and not of the ATP or the Association of Tennis Professionals Inc.
The decision of Novak Djokovic has not changed the decision of the associations of tennis professionals Inc and the International Tennis Federation.
“The decision of the Association of Tennis Professionals Inc. and the International Tennis Federation is to grant a wildcard for Novak Djokovic to participate at this event,” the statement said.