Novak Djokovic is welcome at Australian Open, says tournament director; Russian and Belarusian players can compete but no Russian is guaranteed Davis Cup spot
Novak Djokovic is happy to come to Australia for the first time but the tournament director has warned that there will be no Russian involvement because they cannot compete in Davis Cup.
Djokovic is a popular figure at the Australian Open and often refers to the tournament as his home tournament.
However, since Djokovic’s departure from the Wimbledon championships in 2013, there have been disputes about whether some of his compatriots should be eligible to compete, with the ATP and Fed Cup stating that Russian players cannot compete in Davis Cup.
The ATP has stated the Davis Cup should not be “carpet bombarded” by the participation of any Russian players. Fed Cup believes Russians should be allowed to compete at the Davis Cup if they come to Australia from the World Team Cup.
The world’s top players will compete at the Australian Open for the first time since 2016, when Juan Martin Del Potro ended Novak Djokovic’s hopes of a record-equalling 12-year career in the Australian capital by defeating the Serbian in straight sets in the semi-finals. He completed a career Grand Slam with the Australian title on Sunday.
Djokovic has long been a popular figure at the tournament, but his long service, low ranking and the unpredictability of the matches means there are concerns that he could be a threat just outside the top 100.
Djokovic, who came to the Australian Open ranked outside the top 100, defeated Australian Open finalist Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals before finishing all sets against Roger Federer in three sets and securing a record 10th title.
There was a slight sense of tension in the crowd as the four-time champion, who was the last man standing at the start of the second set, began to struggle.
“I’m happy with how it ended. It was a great match, a great match and a good sign,” Djokovic said of what was his final top ten match at the tournament.
“I can still feel the pain down my leg, but it’s OK