Novak Djokovic was drawn against fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic at the Australian Open although no decision has been made on whether to allow him to compete.
The world number one in men’s tennis had his visa canceled upon arriving in Melbourne last week when his COVID-19[female[feminine the immunization exemption was questioned.
But he won a lawsuit against the cancellation which allowed him to stay in the country.
The Australian government is still debating whether it can stay – a decision which is entirely at the discretion of Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.
Despite this, the open from Australia, which starts on Monday, continued to include him in the roster after he was named the seed.
If Djokovic gets the green light to compete, he will stand a chance of winning a record-breaking 21st major title.
The draw, to determine the men’s and women’s singles brackets at the first major tennis tournament of the year, was scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. local time in Melbourne, but was delayed.
Who will play who?
In the draw, Rafael Nadal was placed in the same half as Djokovic, meaning they could meet in the semi-finals.
World number three Alexander Zverev was also in the top half, with second seed and US Open champion Daniil Medvedev in the bottom half.
Andy Murray’s return will pit 21st seed Nikoloz Basilashvili, whom he beat Wednesday in Sydney.
Britain’s top seeds Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans faced tough draws, with 12th seed Norrie taking on young American Sebastian Korda and Evans taking on former top 10 star David Goffin.
On the women’s side, 17th seed Emma Raducanu was drawn against former New York champion Sloane Stephens.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka will face young Colombian Camila Osorio and could meet seed Ashleigh Barty in the fourth round.
Djokovic is still training
This morning, Djokovic trained at the Rod Laver Arena inside Melbourne Park, the venue of the Australian Open.
Photos from the past few days have shown him on the court surrounded by members of his team.
This comes after he admitted his agent made a mistake on their Australia entry form by providing details of his trip in the days preceding his arrival in the country.
In a lengthy statement, he also apologized for meeting a Frenchman reporter for face-to-face interview and photoshoot after testing positive for COVID-19.
He maintained his intention to compete in the Australian Open throughout the controversy, writing in his statement: “It is always an honor and a privilege to play.”
“I just want to have the opportunity to compete with the best players in the world and play in front of one of the best crowds in the world,” he said.
He can face a hostile crowd if he is allowed to play
However, he can face hostility from the mob if he steps out onto the pitch, with widespread anger at the saga among Australians.
The country has a 90% COVID vaccination rate among adults and is battling a wave of the Omicron variant after suffering some of the longest lockdowns in the world.
Great tennis player Martina Navratilova told Australian TV that Djokovic should “suck her off” and go home.
“Ultimately, sometimes your personal beliefs need to be replaced with what is good for the greater good, for those around you, for your peers,” she told Seven’s Sunrise Program.
“You have two choices, get the shot or just don’t play.”