World No.1 Novak Djokovic will be in action at the Dubai Tennis Championships 2022 which starts on February 21, after the Serbian was deported from Australia earlier this month, robbing him of a chance to seek a record 21st Grand Slam. (More Tennis News)
Djokovic, who is unvaccinated against COVID-19, had his visa cancelled by the Australian government twice before he was sent home after an 11-day long drama that involved two visa cancellations, two court challenges and five nights at an immigration detention hotel in two stints. Djokovic.
Dubai Tennis Championships chief Colm McLoughlin, executive vice-chairman and chief executive of Dubai Duty Free, said in a statement released on the event's website: "We are delighted to see Novak back in Dubai for the 12th time when he will be seeking his sixth title, and we wish him the best of luck."
Djokovic will be able to enter the country irrespective of his vaccination status provided he has tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arrival. More tests would be done as the tournament progresses.
The last time Djokovic was seen in action was when he represented Serbia in the Davis Cup Finals in early December in Madrid. He won all eight of his singles sets to guide Serbia to a semifinal finish.
Among those joining the five-time Dubai champion are further eight members of the top 20. They include Dubai 2021 champion Aslan Karatsev, 2021 semifinalists Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov and former champion Roberto Bautista Agut.
In the women's category, Polish Iga Swiatek, who lost to Ashleigh Barty in the Australian Open 2022 semifinals on Thursday, and 2021 Australian Open women's doubles winner Aryna Sabalenka and two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza are in the mix.