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It’s official – Novak Djokovic has been granted rights to stay in Australia. This has been one of the most covered sports stories of 2022 so far, and rightly so. When Djokovic landed in Australia, he was detained and held for questioning over his visa. This actually went to court, as I’m sure you know, and he won his appeal. He has now been practising in preparation for the Australian Open too. Not only this, but his name is also in the draw. So despite all of the press attention, I feel confident in stating that he will indeed be competing.
But there is one lingering question – how will he be received by fans at the event? Australians haven’t been overly friendly relating to his arrival in their nation, and I believe this indicates how he might be treated at the event. Read on for full details.
Novak Djokovic – Friend or Foe?
The Australian Open has been Djokovic’s most successful Grand Slam. He has won the event an incredible nine times, and he is usually well supported Down Under. But this recent scandal involving his medical exemption and visa seems to have turned the public against him. For that reason, I believe his 2022 AO campaign might involve the following:
Lack of Support
Truly, I don’t believe that the fans will get behind him at the event. I know that he isn’t the most loved player on tour, but this might emphasize things even more. When he competes, I don’t feel that the fans will cheer for him in the same way as they have previously done. And in the worst-case scenario, he could get booed by fans when he takes to the court. I sincerely hope that this doesn’t happen, because at the end of the day, he is there to try and win the event just like anyone else. But it all depends on what crowd shows up on the day.
Intense Media Pressure
The media doesn’t have the best reputation in sports, let’s be honest. When there is a pressure point to touch upon, the media likes the press, and they press hard. Take the 2021 US Open as an example. Djokovic was going for the Calendar Slam, an amazing feat for any player. However, he voiced his opinions to the media that he didn’t want to keep talking about it. This was obviously a strategy to reduce the pressures in his own mind. But the media went on, and on, and on regarding this topic.
Since the visa problem has now been such a public issue, I am sure that they will press on this even more.
Djokovic Fighting Back
If there is one thing I know about Novak Djokovic, it’s that he performs best when his back is against the wall. He has always thrived in adversity, as seen time and time again throughout his career. And in this case, if the crowd starts to get on his back, I am sure he will have no problem fighting as he has never done before. I certainly wouldn’t want to be on the other side of the net in this instance!