No Grudges As Novak Djokovic Feels

Novak Djokovic said Tuesday the reception he had received in Australia was more than he could wish for and the good vibes would reflect in his tennis as he targets a 22nd Grand Slam title this month. The Serbian star, who will bid for a 10th crown at the Australian Open, is back in the country a year after being kicked out for refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19. He was barred from returning for three years, but the government has since lifted the ban and Djokovic made a winning return at the Adelaide International, beating Frenchman Constant Lestienne 6-3, 6-2.

The 35-year-old was given a warm welcome when he played a losing doubles clash on Monday and received similar treatment on a packed center court.

“It’s great to be back. To see the packed house for my first match was definitely a very pleasant surprise. Lots of support, lots of love,” he said at a press conference.

Novak Djokovic

“That obviously motivated me and allowed me to express myself in the best possible way on the court with my game.”

“A lot of Serbia flags, I know the Serbian community here in Adelaide is big but I didn’t think so many would come and I thank them very much.”

Last year’s Australian Open was overshadowed by Djokovic being put on a plane on the eve of the contest after a high-stakes legal battle over his visa status.

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