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Organizers warn spectators for Djokovic –

Australian Open spectators are being warned: they will be kicked out of the stands if they attack Novak Djokovic, who was sent back from Australia last year for not being vaccinated against Covid-19.

The Serbian, a nine-time tournament winner, returns to Melbourne next week after one of the world’s longest lockdowns during the pandemic.

The approach of Djokovic, who arrived in Australia unvaccinated in early 2022 and was deported after spending days in solitary confinement, divided local opinion. A year later, the Serb was allowed to return, this time to play in his first Grand Slam tournament in 2023.

Australian Open director Craig Tiley warned spectators looking to take the reigning world No. 5 to task: “If they disrupt the enjoyment of other spectators, boom, we’ll kick them out,” he told the Herald Sun on Wednesday.

“What I’ve always loved about Melbourne is that the public really appreciate sport and performance more than anywhere else in Australia in my opinion,” he added. “I hope people take that into account.”

The Australian Open starts on Monday, but Djokovic will play an exhibition match against Australian Nick Kyrgios at a sold-out Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Friday.

Last week, the 35-year-old was given a warm welcome by the public after his victory in Adelaide on his return to the Australian court.


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