Djokovic receives warm welcome in Australia but loses doubles at ATP Adelaide

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Novak Djokovic received a warm welcome from Australian tennis fans on Monday at his first match in Australia since his expulsion last year. The 21-time Grand Slam champion lost his doubles match at the ATP tournament in Adelaide ($642,735) despite the support. Together with the Canadian Vasek Pospisil, Djokovic did not make it against the Bosnian Tomislav Brkic and the Ecuadorian Gonzalo Escobar: 6-4, 3-6 and 5-10.

Martin DelvauxBron: BELGIAN

Court 1 of the Adelaide ATP tournament was packed and fans chanted “Novak, Novak” en masse. In addition, many Serbian flags were displayed in the stands.

The question was how Djokovic’s return would be received in Australia. The former number one in the world was deported from the country last year because he had not been vaccinated against the corona virus. There was then a vaccination requirement for the state of Victoria to enter the country. Djokovic nevertheless traveled to Melbourne, but was sent home after a day-long soap opera and a lawsuit. Djokovic’s attitude led to divided reactions in the country.

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“I hope it will all be positive, although that is of course something you cannot predict,” the Serb said about his return last week. “People in Australia love tennis and are crazy about sports, so I hope a lot of people come to watch and we can have a good time.”

Djokovic will face France’s Constant Lestienne in singles. He is preparing for the Australian Open, the first grand slam tournament of the year. That tournament starts in two weeks.

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