Novak Djokovic draws against Miomir Kecmanovic at Australian Open amid visa uncertainty



Djokovic, who is looking to win his 10th Australian Open title in Melbourne this month, is waiting for Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to decide whether to revoke his reinstated visa ahead of the tournament.

Djokovic, 34, had his visa canceled after entering Australia without a valid exemption for the country’s vaccination requirements, but a judge ruled on Monday he could stay.

Rafael Nadal, who is tied with Djokovic and Roger Federer on 20 Grand Slam singles titles, is ranked sixth and is set to face American Marcos Giron in the first round.

Nadal is in the same half of the draw as Djokovic, but the pair would only meet in the semi-finals if they go that far.

The No. 2 seed Daniiel Medvedev, last year’s US Open champion, takes on Henri Laaksonen in the first round, while the No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev takes on fellow German Daniel Altmaier.

In the women’s singles draw, there’s a potential fourth-round clash between world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and defending champion Naomi Osaka.

Osaka, seeded 13th, will begin her title defense against Camila Osorio, while Barty’s first-round opponent will advance.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Barty’s best performance at her home Grand Slam came in 2020 when she reached the semi-finals.

Other Grand Slam champions in this year’s draw include Iga Swiatek, Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep; Emma Raducanu and Sloane Stephens, winners of the US Open in 2021 and 2017 respectively, were drawn in the first round.
Djokovic takes part in a training session ahead of the Australian Open.

Capped entry

Victoria State announced on Thursday that ticket sales for this year’s tournament will be capped at 50% if they have not already sold out at that level.

The amendment is being made “to ensure the health and safety of fans who frequent Melbourne Park”, according to a statement.

Osaka will defend her title at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Tickets already purchased remain valid and will not be canceled or changed, and there are no changes to land pass access.

Face coverings will be required except when eating or drinking, and indoor social distancing measures will be enforced under state COVIDSafe parameters.

What we know: Novak Djokovic and the Australian Open timeline

“As hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Victoria, these mitigation strategies are proportionate and designed to help limit the spread of COVID-19,” the statement added.

Last year, the Australian Open was postponed to February due to the pandemic. A lockdown in Victoria state meant matches were played without fans for five days. Once lifted, capacity was capped at 30,000 spectators per day.

CNN has contacted Tennis Australia for comment, but has not yet received a response.

The Australian Open 2022 starts on Monday January 17 and ends on January 30.


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