Novak Djokovic recently landed in Australia, almost a year after his high-profile visa debacle which saw him deported from the country Down Under due to his unvaccinated status. His arrival was welcomed with open arms by former Australian Open CEO Paul McNamee.
The former Australian doubles player, who has supported the 21-time Grand Slam champion on several occasions in the past, was happy to see Djokovic back on the court in the country and credited him for his outstanding results in 2022, despite playing bans. various tournaments. McNamee was also impressed with the former world number one’s holistic approach and generosity.
“It’s good to see Novak Djokovic back on the court in Australia. After all, he finished 2022 as the best player on the planet, arguably the most complete athlete in the world and, as a person, with a holistic approach and a generosity of spirit that is often overlooked. Welcome Novak,” Paul McNamee wrote on his social media.
‘I hope he can get it’ – Former Australian Open CEO Paul McNamee previously backed Novak Djokovic ahead of Australian Open 2023
Novak Djokovic kicked off his 2023 campaign at Adelaide International 1 on January 2, with a doubles fixture in partnership with Canada Vasek Pospisil. The pair failed to turn the match in their favor against Tomislav Brkic and Gonzalo Escobar, losing in the deciding tiebreaker 4-6, 6-3, 10-5. The Serb will now look forward to challenging for the singles title on January 3, starting with a clash against French player Constant Lestienne in the round of 16.
The 35-year-old, who is playing in the Adelaide tournament ahead of the upcoming Australian Open, will be in contention for a historic tenth title and a 22nd Grand Slam, and has been backed by Paul McNamee in his pursuit.
“I hope he can get it. For me, he is a person of principle. Not everyone agrees with his position, but he keeps his word and has missed two Grand Slams this year. It’s a lot to miss when you ‘I’m the most Grand Slam winner, so I respect him and hope he’ll be well received,” he said.
McNamee believes the Serbian will do everything possible to try to achieve this special feat.
“I think winning 10 has a special sound to it. The only other man who won 10 [at a Grand Slam event] is Rafa to France, so I think he will do his best to land a 10th Australian Open, especially after last year,” McNamee said.
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