Novak Djokovic in a sad announcement ahead of his return to Australia | Tech Rasta

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Novak Djokovic, pictured here with his wife Jelena during the ATP Finals.

Novak Djokovic will not participate in the first United Cup before the Australian Open. Image: Getty

Novak Djokovic’s return to Australia will come a little later than expected after it was confirmed this week that he will not feature in the season-opening United Cup. The Serbian star will be allowed to return to the country in January after being obtained a visa by the Australian government.

However, he will not take part in the new United Cup, with Serbia missing out on qualifying for the mixed team event which runs from December 29 to January 8. On Tuesday, officials confirmed that the last two countries to participate in the inaugural event will be Bulgaria and Kazakhstan.

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There are reports that Djokovic hasn’t nominated himself to take part in the event, which means Serbia won’t be part of the $23m tournament. Instead, Djokovic is believed to be eyeing the Adelaide International as a starting point for the Australian summer before a tilt towards more Grand Slam glory in the first major of the year.

Djokovic revealed last week that he was “very happy” to receive the news of the visa which allows him to aim for a record 10th Australian Open title, before it was confirmed in writing to the world. The Serbian star was facing a potential three-year ban from the country due to his deportation in early 2021.

“Since the cancellation of Mr Djokovic’s visa in January 2022, all Covid-19 related Australian border restrictions under the Biosecurity Act 2015 have been removed, including the requirement to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination status to enter Australia,” Immigration Minister Andrew said. Giles said in a statement. “Mr Djokovic was then granted a temporary visa to enter Australia.”

The 35-year-old was facing the prospect of a ban from Australia until 2025 but revealed his joy that the decision had been overturned. “I was very happy to hear the news yesterday,” Djokovic said.

Speaking in Turin during the ATP Finalsthe Serb added: “It’s a relief obviously to know what me and the people closest to me have been through this year with what happened in Australia and after Australia obviously. I couldn’t receive better news for sure – during this tournament Australian Open was my most successful Grand Slam tournament, I have some of my best memories there.

“Of course I want to go back, I want to play tennis, do what I do best, I hope to have a great Aussie summer. I’m always grateful for experiences, whatever the experiences. I’m trying to be upbeat and positive in life. I can’t wait to start the new year in Australia, and we’ll see how next year goes.

Fans expected Djokovic to play for Serbia in the United Cup but were disappointed by his absence from the event which replaced the previous ATP Cup.

Nick Kyrgios will face Rafa Nadal in the United Cup

Nick Kyrgios is in line for a blockbuster showdown with defending champion Rafa Nadal after Australia were drawn into the same pool as Spain for the inaugural United Cup. Alex de Minaur and Jason Kubler were the other men’s singles players named to Australia’s eight-man roster.

But it will be Kyrgios who gets Nadal a chance after the Wimbledon runner-up was Australia’s top finisher at the end of the year when de Minaur failed to reach the Paris Masters quarter-finals. Under United Cup rules, the No. 1 players from both nations will face off, with the respective No. 2s featured plus two women’s singles matchups determined on the same basis.

A mixed doubles encounter could potentially decide five-game ties. Kyrgios could also team up with former flame Ajla Tomljanovic after the three-time Grand Slam finalist was named Team Australia’s women’s No.1 alongside Zoe Hives, Maddison Inglis and doubles stars John Peers and Sam Stosur .

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, pictured here in action during the ATP Finals.

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis in action during the ATP Finals. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

United Cup officials have also revealed that women’s world No. 1 Iga Swiatek will be another star in the first edition of the new summer opener. Other notable entries include Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari of Greece, Norway’s world No.4 Casper Ruud, Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic and Stan Wawrinka.

Brisbane, Perth and Sydney will each host two groups of three countries competing in a round robin format. The winners of each group will play each other, with the city winners advancing to the final four at the United Cup in Sydney from January 6-8. The next best performing team from the group stages will complete the foursome.

with the AAP

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