You are currently viewing Novak Djokovic says he’s at his ‘peak’ returning to tour in Dubai after Australian Open saga

Novak Djokovic says he’s at his ‘peak’ returning to tour in Dubai after Australian Open saga

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic said on Sunday that despite weeks off the court and emotional pain over his recent imprisonment and deportation, he feels he’s back at his “top” as he returns to the circuit.

In a news conference a day before the start of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, the world’s top male tennis player sounded upbeat. This is Djokovic’s first tournament since being ejected from Australia and missing the year’s first Grand Slam event due to his vaccination status.

He told reporters, “It wasn’t tough for me to pick up a racquet and go out and practice the sport and just play.” “I’ve done everything I can to be as prepared as possible.”

The presence of Djokovic brings an unusual level of scrutiny to the annual tournament near Dubai International Airport, and authorities appear to have taken extra precautions of their own.

Most photographers and videographers were barred from Djokovic’s press conference without explanation. Security guards were present at Djokovic’s practice earlier in the day, interrogating reporters who sought to catch a sight of him serving and swinging on the court. The guards admitted that these limits did not apply to any other players. Organizers could not be reached for comment right away.

The issue of Djokovic’s rejected travel visa on the eve of the Australian Open gained worldwide attention, shedding insight on how governments handle pandemic restrictions and exemptions. Djokovic said that the tumultuous court battle had taken a personal toll on him.

“When I got back from Australia, I had a lot of feelings,” he stated. “It felt strange; I was upset, and I was saddened by how things had turned out and how I had left the nation.”

Because of Djokovic’s adamant refusal to be vaccinated against the coronavirus for the time being, he may be prevented from competing in a number of forthcoming Grand Slam tournaments, including the US Open and the French Open, as he seeks a record 21st Grand Slam championship.

The 34-year-old has made it obvious that he is willing to pay this price.

“I’ll be trying to get to that country and play that event,” he stated, knowing that his freedom of movement and entry to tournaments will be limited by local virus limitations. “I can’t really select; it’s all about where I can go and play,” she says.

Visitors to Dubai are not required to be COVID-19 vaccinated in order to enter.

Djokovic said he was looking forward to returning to the tournament he has won five times after hours of ripping backhands on the baseline in Dubai.

“Having previous wonderful experiences on the court and trophies undoubtedly binds me to this country stronger more,” he said, saying that, unlike in Australia, the players have been friendly and hospitable so far. “We’ll play this tournament and see where it goes from there.”

Leave a Reply