“No, I haven't forgotten anything”… Novak Djokovic was on the verge of singing Charles Aznavour on Thursday, for his first press conference in Australia, almost a year after his expulsion from the country in worldview.
The Serb arrived in Adelaide on Tuesday, where he is due to play his first tournament of the year before trying to win a 22nd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in Melbourne (January 15-29), which will give him would equal Rafael Nadal's record.
This is the first visit of "Djoko" to the mainland island since the long judicial soap opera which had resulted in his banishment from the country last January, for lack of being vaccinated against Covid-19.
He had also been given a three-year inadmissibility, but that was lifted following a change of government in Australia earlier this year.
"It's one of the things that don't let go, that stays with you for, I guess, the rest of your life," the 35-year-old admitted to the local press on the sidelines of a training session at Adelaide.
"As I said, I had never experienced anything like it, and I hope I never have to face it again," he added.
But, “evoking a life experience”, Novak Djokovic also expressed the wish “to move forward”, noting in particular the good reception which had been given to him until then.
“Everyone has been very pleasant, extremely kind to me,” he noted.
Towards a 10th success in Melbourne?
“I have always felt very good in Australia, I have always played my best tennis and I have had a lot of support there, so I hope to live another great summer” austral, added the Serb, who has already imposed nine times in Melbourne.
Djokovic ended 2022 in 5th place in the world, after a truncated season due to his unvaccinated status.
In addition to the Australian Major, he had to withdraw from the US Open due to his vaccination status, after a quarter-final at Roland Garros and a success at Wimbledon, and before a victory at the Masters.
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