Australian Open 2022 LIVE – Novak Djokovic AO2022 LIVE: Covid controversy, detention in an immigration facility and courtroom drama – amid all this it’s getting forgotten that Novak Djokovic is on a cusp of GREATEST TENNIS GLORY. In the backdrop of VISA DRAMA – Djokovic can deliver unprecedented 21st Grand Slam & 10th Australian Open Title: Follow AO2022 LIVE Updates on InsideSport.IN
“Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete,” he tweeted, adding that he “remained focused” on winning his favourite Slam despite his unprecedented build-up on, off and in court.
Australian Open 2022 LIVE: Amid VISA controversy, Novak Djokovic on cusp of ‘GREATEST TENNIS GLORY’, will he deliver 21st GRAND SLAM against all odds?
Novak Djokovic AO2022 LIVE: With the Melbourne showpiece starting on Monday, the world number one and defending champion’s participation is still in grave doubt. The Australian government is still pondering whether to cancel the visa of the unvaccinated Serb for a second time and throw him out of the country.
If Djokovic, who is drawn against fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round, does play and goes on to win the Australian Open he would become the most successful men’s tennis player in history with 21 majors.
Most Grand Slam Title Record
Will he deliver 10th Australian Open Title? Djokovic is one of the best tennis players of all time but he has a history of provoking controversy.
- Last year he was accused of feigning injury during his run to the Australian Open title.
- At the 2020 US Open he was defaulted from the tournament for hitting a line judge in the throat with a ball.
- All that came after his ill-fated launch of his Adria Tour at the height of the pandemic in 2020 when the world of sport was shut down.
- He was labelled a “tool” by Australia’s Nick Kyrgios after requesting houses with practice courts for players quarantining before last year’s Australian Open.
But there is no doubt about his talent or popularity in the eyes of his loyal fans, and Melbourne has a sizeable Serbian community.
Most Grand Slam Record Calling Djokovic: Djokovic has been year-end world number one on a record seven occasions and spent more weeks at the top of the ATP Tour rankings, 359 and counting, than any other player.
His ninth victory in 17 visits at last year’s Covid-delayed tournament reinforced his dominance in Melbourne, where he claimed his first Grand Slam title in 2008.
With Roger Federer injured and absent, Rafael Nadal and world number two Daniil Medvedev look to be Djokovic’s biggest challengers — and beneficiaries if the Serb does not play.
Russia’s Medvedev, who faces Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen in the first round, conquered Djokovic in the US Open final in September to win his maiden major and end the world number one’s bid to win a calendar Grand Slam.
Ageing Spanish great Nadal — one of the ‘Big Three’ alongside Djokovic and Federer — is also chasing a record 21st major.
However, it is now 13 years since the injury-prone Nadal, who begins his campaign against American Marcos Giron, won his lone title in Melbourne, despite four further trips to the final.
Other contenders include Germany’s Olympic champion Alexander Zverev and world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas, though the Greek is trying to overcome recent elbow surgery.
Britain’s Andy Murray, runner-up in the Australian Open five times, returns on a wildcard for the first time since an emotional 2019 “farewell” appearance after undergoing hip surgery that enabled him to make a remarkable comeback.
Australian Open 2022: Murray will begin his bid against 21st-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili, whom the Scot beat in three sets at the Sydney ATP warm-up event on Wednesday.