Djokovic Included In Australian Open Draw As Visa Saga Continues
Aussies ready to roll
Novak Djokovic has been included in Tennis Australia's draw of the upcoming Australian Open event, as the visa saga continues to drag on.
The nine-time Australian Open champion has been matched against fellow countryman Miomir Kecmanovi, yet his participation is no certainty as legal issues weigh over the first Grand Slam of 2022.
There remains speculation the Serbian will be banned and deported from Australia over travel declaration concerns, with Immigration Minister Alex Hawke holding the keys to the decision.
As confirmed by PM Scott Morrison, Hawke will not make a decision surrounding the situation on Thursday, as the tournament edges closer to its start date of January 17.
With Djokovic - as it stands - holding the number one seed in the men's draw, Australian fans can look forward to seeing a wealth of local talent hit the hard court.
Leading the Aussie charge, Alex de Minaur comes in as the No.32 seed, drawn against Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti in the first round.
James Duckworth faces France's Adrian Mannarino in the opening round, Davis Cup teammate Alexei Popyrin will battle Arthur Rinderknec.
After returning to the Grand Slam draw in 2021, wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis is set to play a qualifier in round one. The 25-year-old South Australian advanced after winning the recent ATP quarterfinals in dramatic fashion.
On the women's side, top seeded Ash Barty is preparing for a quality campaign against her quarter, drawn against a qualifier to open proceedings.
Wildcards Storm Sanders and Sam Stosur will again challenge, with Sanders up against the dominant No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka.
Stosur is competing in her 20th and final Australian Open, tying a record set by Lleyton Hewitt for most appearances by an Aussie.
Veteran Ajla Tomljanovic will play the eighth seeded Paula Badosa.
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