AP

Djokovic says no hard feelings over Australian deportation

Dec 28, 2022, 10:06 AM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 12:11 am

Serbia's Novak Djokovic makes a backhand return during a practice session ahead of the Adelaide Int...

Serbia's Novak Djokovic makes a backhand return during a practice session ahead of the Adelaide International Tennis tournament in Adelaide, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Kelly Barnes)

(AP Photo/Kelly Barnes)

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic has reiterated his earlier comments that he bears no hard feelings on his return to Australia after his visa cancellation and subsequent deportation in January ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament.

Djokovic was deported almost 12 months ago after arriving unvaccinated against COVID-19 at a time when the country was still subject to strict quarantine regulations and proof of vaccination.

Those regulations have since been lifted and in November, the Australian government overturned the three-year ban that came with Djokovic’s deportation and granted him a visa to return for the Australian Open beginning Jan. 16.

Djokovic arrived back in Australia on Tuesday ahead of the Adelaide International, where he is scheduled to play next week.

“It’s great to be back in Australia,” he said Thursday. “It’s a country where I’ve had tremendous success in my career, particularly in Melbourne. It’s by far my most successful Grand Slam. I’m hoping that everything is going to be positive. Obviously (fan reaction) is not something that I can predict.

“I’ll do my best to play good tennis and bring good emotions and good feelings to the crowd.”

Djokovic said he still has difficulty forgetting his deportation.

“Obviously what happened 12 months ago was not easy for me, for my family, team, anybody who is close to me. It’s obviously disappointing to leave the country like that,” he said.

“You can’t forget those events. It’s one of these things that stays with you for I guess the rest of your life. It’s something that I’ve never experienced before and hopefully never again. But it is a valuable life experience for me and something that as I said will stay there, but I have to move on.”

Djokovic has won the Australian Open a record nine times, including the last three times he played. Rafael Nadal won the 2022 title in Djokovic’s absence.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Djokovic says no hard feelings over Australian deportation