Djokovic's Return to Australian Open Met with Mixed Reception, But Fans Ready to Move On
- World Soccer Today -
Novak Djokovic, a nine-time champion of the Australian Open, received an enthusiastic reception upon his return to the tournament.
Novak Djokovic, a nine-time champion of the Australian Open, received an enthusiastic reception upon his return to the tournament a year after he was deported due to his stance on Covid vaccines.
Spectators, including members of Melbourne's Serbian community, greeted him warmly as he entered the court to face Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena.
It has been 1,821 days since Djokovic last lost a match at Melbourne Park and he seemed determined to continue his winning streak.
There had been uncertainty about how Djokovic would be received after his three-year ban from Australia was lifted in November, but on a hot day, most believed it was time to move on from last year's incident.
Despite the warm reception, Djokovic's previous stance on Covid vaccines had angered many Australians and some were still questioning how he was able to compete again after being labeled as a national threat just a year ago.
However, many fans were focused on Djokovic's performance on the court and believed that he had the potential to win his tenth title and secure his place as the best player of all time.
The match itself was played under hot conditions and the crowd was excited to see Djokovic back in action, with many predicting that he would win without dropping a set.
Organizers of the Australian Open have warned that any fans targeting Djokovic would face potential tournament bans.
Despite this, some fans remain unsupportive of Djokovic, with one spectator, Rob, stating "I'm not a fan of Djokovic but you can't deny his genius."
He went on to explain that Djokovic's demeanour is the reason he never won over the Australian public in the same way as his rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer do.
However, others believe that the past should be left in the past and Djokovic should be allowed to play.
Many of the Serbian fans at Melbourne Park cheered Djokovic on from big screens in the gardens.
Despite some fans' mixed feelings, Djokovic's return to the Australian Open was met with a largely positive reception, with many excited to see him back in action.
Organizers had taken steps to prevent any negative behavior towards Djokovic, and it appeared that the majority of fans were ready to move on from last year's incident.
The Serbian fans at Melbourne Park were particularly enthusiastic, cheering Djokovic on even if they did not have tickets to watch him play live.
Overall, it seems that while some fans may not be personal fans of Djokovic, they respect his talent and are happy to see him back on the court competing at the Australian Open.