Former world No 1 Novak Djokovic will be granted a visa to play in the 2023 Australian Open tennis Grand Slam tournament, local media reports said on Tuesday, despite his deportation from the country in January.
The Australian government had decided to grant the unvaccinated Serb a visa, overturning a three-year ban after his ejection from the country, said national broadcaster ABC and other media.
Australia’s immigration ministry and Tennis Australia were asked by AFP to comment on the reports.
This year’s championship was overshadowed by nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic being put on a plane on the eve of the tournament after a high-stakes legal battle over his visa status.
Australia has since lifted its requirement for visitors to show proof of vaccination against Covid.
Djokovic’s three-year ban can be overturned at the discretion of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s centre-left government, which is different to the conservative coalition in power when he was kicked out.
Last month, Australian Open chief Craig Tiley said he had spent time with Djokovic recently and the Serbian wanted to return for the first major of the year in January in Melbourne.
“What we’re saying at this point is that Novak and the federal government need to work out the situation. And then we’ll follow any…