Novak Djokovic is welcome at Australian Open, says tournament director; Russian and Belarusian players can compete
Novak Djokovic’s success story in Melbourne has given rise to a growing chorus of pleas from his compatriots inside and outside the game for him to get the go-ahead to represent their country in the Australian Open.
The Serbian and World No1 hopes to play his third Slam final in Melbourne in as many years in the men’s doubles final on Sunday with partner Marcos Baghdatis, with his only previous finals appearance at the Australian Open in 2009.
And Djokovic insists he would be just as happy with playing in Melbourne, regardless of whether he also plays in the doubles, as long as he is guaranteed a ticket to the main draw.
“I always have said that regardless of whether I play in the doubles, I would be just as happy of being in the main draw,” Djokovic tells AAP.
“I would be happy to play in the main draw, no doubt. I think it is more important to be in a final.”
SBS’ tennis show The Grand Slam explains why the Australians are so keen on their game, and where they stand in the new decade.
World No2 Andy Murray has also been calling for Djokovic’s inclusion in the Australian Open to be recognised as a major tournament.
“I think there are enough tournaments to go around, and that’s why in February everybody would say that there are five tournaments, five great tournaments out there.
“And we feel like we have been a part of the tennis landscape here for a good number of years, and I think this would be the best chance of us finally catching the game that everybody would love to win over here and get a Major or Grand Slam to have something major behind it.”
The decision will come down to whether, as Djokovic is a favourite to win his third Australian Open, he is willing to play in a final at the Open – and whether