MELBOURNE, Australia — Novak Djokovic was officially named the top men’s seed for the 2022 Australian Open, ending speculation about the status of the world’s No. 1 player.
The draw for the Australian Open had been delayed briefly on Thursday “until further notice,” four days before the main draw of the year’s first Grand Slam tennis tournament is scheduled to start.
Update 12:42 a.m. EST Jan. 13: Novak Djokovic was officially installed as the No. 1 men’s seed for the 2022 Australian Open, clearing the way for the nine-time champion to defend his title in the season’s first Grand Slam event. Whether Djokovic actually plays remains to be seen. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he is not making further comments on a potential decision on Djokovic’s visa, adding that the matter rests with Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.
Top seed and nine-time #AusOpen champion 🇷🇸 @DjokerNole begins his title defence against Miomir Kecmanovic.#AO2022 pic.twitter.com/96MAlHNElG— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 13, 2022
Update 12:30 a.m. EST Jan. 13: Australian Open officials conducted the women’s singles draw first; the men’s draw is scheduled to follow.
Just in: Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he's not making a further comment on a potential decision on Djokovic visa. Said matter rests with Immigration Minister Hawke— Andrew Brown (@AndrewBrownAU) January 13, 2022
Original report: There was speculation that the delay reflected some uncertainty among government officials over the status of Novak Djokovic, the defending men’s champion and a nine-time winner at the event.
The draw, to determine men’s and women’s singles brackets, was scheduled to be held at 3 p.m. local time in Melbourne, but a tournament official told reporters that the ceremony had been postponed until further notice and declined further comment, The Associated Press reported.
BREAKING: Australian Open draw "cancelled until further notice"— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) January 13, 2022
Djokovic has said he intends to compete in this year’s event as he aims for his 21st Grand Slam title. He was released from hotel detention on Monday, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. The world’s No. 1 men’s player arrived in Melbourne on Jan. 5 but was detained for more than eight hours before his visa was canceled.
A federal circuit court judge later reversed the cancellation. Djokovic won reinstatement on procedural grounds that allowed him to remain in Australia, according to The Associated Press.
>> Coronavirus: Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa reinstated by judge
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has been considering whether to allow Djokovic to play since the judge reinstated the player’s visa, according to the AP.
Earlier, Djokovic acknowledged that his Australian travel declaration form contained incorrect information. The Serbian star is not vaccinated against COVID-19, on public interest grounds, the AP reported.
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