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Sunday, February 5, 2023

‘Novak Djokovic had a huge following here’, says TD

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A few weeks ago, Novak Djokovic received clearance to travel to Australia next month. 2022 was a fairly turbulent year for the Serbian champion, who paid dearly for his choice not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus. The former world number 1 had to give up the Australian Open and the US Open, as well as having suffered serious image damage.

Also due to his vaccination status, the 35-year-old from Belgrade also missed all the American Masters 1000. His season took a different turn on the grass at Wimbledon, where Nole won for the fourth time in a row. The ‘Djoker’ thus equaled Pete Sampras with seven hits at Church Road and climbed to 21 Grand Slams, just one length away from Rafael Nadal’s all-time record.

As if that weren’t enough, Goran Ivanisevic’s protégé won the ATP Finals for the sixth time (equaling Roger Federer’s record). Djokovic will start his 2023 by playing the ATP in Adelaide, and then go hunting for his tenth seal in Melbourne Park.

Alistair MacDonald on Nole Djokovic

Assured of being able to play the Australian Open (from January 16 to 29) Novak Djokovic will start his 2023 season with the Adelaide tournament, from January 1 to 8. Tournament director Alistair MacDonald, who has assembled an impressive line-up, spoke to News Corp about the reception the Serbian might receive.

“We saw during the two weeks that Djokovic was in quarantine in Adelaide that he had a huge following here. Covid has been a pretty tough time for everyone and his experience probably didn’t go the way he wanted last year, but 2023 is a fresh start.

It’s probably not for us to judge how he’ll be received, but he’s a great player and he’s sure to generate a lot of interest.” Kim Clijsters believes Novak Djokovic will be a force to reckon with at the 2023 Australian Open.

“I heard that he’s (Novak Djokovic) able to play this year, in 2023 he’s going to be able to go, and I’m sure he’s going to be more motivated than ever to try and do well there again,” Kim Clijsters recently said on The Craig Shapiro Tennis Podcast.

“Amazing. The way that he’s able to leave a lot of the negative, the way that he’s able to put that behind him and kind of use it all in a force on the court to play better and be even more focused, I absolutely admire it,” Clijsters expressed.

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