Tennis fans in Australia were denied the chance to see Novak Djokovic challenge for the Australian Open last year owing to his personally held stand point on Covid vaccines and although fans were split on his ultimate deportation and the headlines that were created, given Australia's struggles with the pandemic many more agreed with the decisions taken by 'Fortress Australia' although banning him from the country for three years did not sit well.
New Jersey sports betting magazine told us that the bookmakers and fans across the world will be happy to have heard that the Australian Government softened their approach last week and they have overturned his ban, allowing him to once again compete at the next open. Obviously this increases the competition at the tournament as Djokovic's skills with a racket need no explanation, and for those who like a flutter he obviously goes straight in as a clear favourite to lift the title once more now he is back in contention.
The Serbian nine time champion has now officially confirmed that he will be attending the competition once more and explained that he was 'very happy' the ban had been overturned and that he would again be granted a visa.
"I could not receive better news. It was a relief obviously knowing what I and people closest to me in my life have been through this year with what happened in Australia and post Australia obviously. The 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."
The 35 year old will be going into the tournament in good form, as just hours after Australian officials confirmed the change he was back on the court putting in a clinical display against Andrey Rublev as he reached the semi finals of the ATP Finals - taking a 6-4 6-1 victory over the Russian in a 69 minute match.
"I played very, very well. One of the best matches of the year without a doubt against an always tough opponent. It was an amazing performance."
Having then secured a 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-2) win over Daniil Medvedev in a tough three hours and eleven minutes contest, he is now through to the final having taken a 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6) win over Taylor Fritz. Although Djokovic did edge the game, the 25 year old Californian made him work hard for the victory and he will now lift his first ATP Finals since 2015 if he can get past Casper Ruud.
"I had to fight to survive. I knew coming into today's match from yesterday's gruelling battle against Daniil Medvedev I knew it would take me some time to adjust and find the dynamic movement I need against Fritz, who is one of the best servers on the Tour. I am very pleased to have overcome this one as I don't think it was one of my best days with my tennis, but I managed to hang in there."
The Australian Open will certainly be better with him involved again and you would fully expect him to have a point to prove.