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Djokovic gets top seed after Aus Open draw delayed over his visa issue

Australia is still considering whether to deport the nine-time champion

Djokovic 2021 Australian Open Reuters [File] Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the 2021 Australian Open final | Reuters

The men’s world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic has been given the number one seed at the 2022 Australian Open as he looks to defend the title amid the vaccination storm he is in.

The announcement for the main draw was postponed by an hour after tournament organisers waited for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s press conference to end, in case he mentioned any further action against the unvaccinated Djokovic. But there was no mention of it, and the draw went on. The main tournament begins on Monday, January 17.

The 34-year-old Serb had his visa cancelled on arrival in Melbourne last week when his vaccination exemption was questioned, but he won a legal battle on procedural grounds that allowed him to stay in the country.

Australia is still considering whether to deport the nine-time and defending Australian Open champion, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, on public interest grounds. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke can overrule the judge's decision to reinstate the visa.

Djokovic travelled to Australia seeking to win a 21st Grand Slam titles to break the men's record of 20 he shared with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

- With inputs from PTI

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