Novak Djokovic news LIVE: World No 1's French Open in doubt as Tennis Australia breaks silence

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Novak Djokovic news LIVE: World No 1’s French Open in doubt as Tennis Australia breaks silence
© AFPTV/AFP via Getty Images Djokovic

LIVE – Updated at 09:13

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The Australian Open continues without Novak Djokovic after the saga over the men’s defending champion’s visa was finally brought to an end on Sunday evening.

After Australia’s immigration minister had used his discretionary power to cancel Djokovic’s visa for a second time last week, the decision was upheld by three judges at an appeal, who determined that the world No 1’s presence “may be counterproductive to efforts at vaccination by others.” Djokovic was deported on Sunday and returned home to his native Belgrade, where he “will now be taking some time to rest and to recuperate, before making any further comments beyond this”.

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However, the Serbian is already facing further problems over his vaccination status, with France’s sports minister announcing that athletes would not be exempt from the country’s Covid pass, throwing Djokovic’s participation at Roland Garros into doubt. “The vaccination pass has been adopted. As soon as the law is promulgated, it will become mandatory to enter public buildings already subject to the health pass (stadium, theatre or lounge) for all spectators, practitioners, French or foreign professionals,” Roxana Maracineanu wrote on Twitter.

Follow all the latest news, reaction and updates as the Australian Open continues.

Novak Djokovic latest

  • World No 1 returns to Belgrade
  • French Open athletes will not receive exemption
  • Tennis Australia breaks silence over saga

Australian Open 2022: Kyrgios in charge against Broady

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09:13 , Tom Kershaw

Broady is struggling badly on his first serve and hands Kyrgios another early break. The Briton has his back against the wall now after losing the first set 6-4.

Australian Open 2022: Sabalenka struggling against Sanders

09:11 , Tom Kershaw

Elsewhere, Aryna Sabalenka, the world No 2, is in a spot of bother against Australian wildcard Storm Sanders.

Sanders, who is ranked No 128 in the world, has never made it past the first round of a grand slam in her singles career, but has taken the first set 7-5 against Sabalenka.

Australian Open 2022: Medvedev believes Nadal is favourite

09:06 , Tom Kershaw

Daniil Medvedev was broken in his opening service game against Henri Laaksonen in a rare display of nerves but quickly rattled off six games in succession to dominate the set.

The Russian, who defeated Djokovic in last year’s US Open final, is the favourite in the Serbian’s absence.

However, he attempted to divert that new layer of pressure after his 6-1 6-4 7-6(3) win, insisting Rafael Nadal’s grand slam record makes him the man to beat.

“I like pressure but last year I started well here in Australia in the ATP Cup and I managed to be in the final here,” he said on court afterwards.

“The tournaments in Australia are always really important for me. I like to play in Australia on hard courts. I want to do better here than I did last year but it’s not going to easy.

“I always say whoever is the highest ranked is the favourite so this time I will go with Rafa because he has 20 grand slams.”

Australian Open 2022: Kyrgios 4-3 Broady

08:52 , Tom Kershaw

Kyrgios is still in full swing against Broady, drawing cheers and laughter from the crowd in equal measure. Broady is warming into the match himself though now, adjusting to the raucous atmosphere.

After being broken in his first service game, the Briton has been solid and holds comfortably to love to tighten things up at 4-3.

Tennis Australia break silence over Djokovic saga

08:50 , Tom Kershaw

Tennis Australia, who had granted Novak Djokovic a medical exemption in accordance with the Victorian government, remained notably quiet as the visa saga unfolded last week.

However, in a statement released today, the governing body said it “deeply regretted” the impact and the distraction it had caused.

“As the Australian tennis family, we recognise that recent events have been a significant distraction for everyone, and we deeply regret the impact this had on all players,” the statement read.

“There are always lessons to learn, and we will review all aspects of our preparation and implementation to inform our planning – as we do every year.

“That process always starts once the Australian Open champions have lifted their trophies.”

Australian Open 2022: Kyrgios 2-0 Broady

08:35 , Tom Kershaw

Krygios has already turned this match into a carnival atmosphere, playing trick shots for the crowd’s benefit and breaking the Briton in his opening service game.

Australian Open 2022: Kyrgios vs Broady

08:22 , Tom Kershaw

Next up in the John Cain Arena, the ever-exciting and just as controversial Nick Kyrgios takes on Britain’s Liam Broady.

Broady, who came through qualifying to reach the main draw, will be up against the crowd here too.

Australian Open 2022: Murray speaks post-match

08:18 , Tom Kershaw

“Obviously when we came back last year to play after the enforced break with Covid, we played with no fans in the stadium. It was tough. It is not loads of fun. You know, we train and practice to allow us to play and compete in atmospheres like this on courts like this to entertain you guys and perform in front of you. It’s an incredible atmosphere and I am so happy.”

Asked about how far he thinks he can go in the tournament, Murray is clear:

“I would love to have a deep run here if possible. It’s tough but I would like to have a deep run. It’s something I have not had in one of the slams since I came back from the injury and it is something that is motivating me. I play some of my best tennis over the years here, I feel comfortable here and I hope I can do it this tournament.”

Australian Open 2022: Murray speaks post-match

08:17 , Tom Kershaw

“It was a brutal match in Sydney, we played three hours over three sets [at the Sydney International last week]. I am sure you guys can tell from watching. He hits the ball huge from the back of the court and I had to do a lot of running today, a lot of defending. He is not the sort of guy whose name you want to see next to yours in the draw very often. Obviously a bit of confidence from the win last week, and thankfully managed to get over the line today.”

Australian Open 2022: Murray speaks post-match

08:16 , Tom Kershaw

“It has been a tough, tough three, four years. Put in a lot of work to get back here. I played on this court many times.The atmosphere is incredible. I have always had fantastic support. This is the one where I thought potentially I had played my last match three years ago, but it is amazing to be back winning a five- set battle like that. Couldn’t ask for any more.”

08:16 , Tom Kershaw

I mean.. can we just take this in.. 3 years ago the guy could hardly walk, double hip surgery, effectively announced retirement in tears before tournament in 2019. He’s just beaten a seed in 5 sets. In 2022!! Incredible!!! pic.twitter.com/YyK22H5JpC

— Jonathan Overend (@jsoverend) January 18, 2022

Australian Open 2022: Murray beats Basilashvili

08:07 , Tom Kershaw

Basilashvili throws everything at two winners to take it back to 30-40. That was remarkably brave hitting from the Georgian. He has no answer at the third time of asking though!

A deep Murray backhand pushes him behind the baseline and a weak return loops into the net. Murray roars to the crowd. What a tremendous display from the Scot who prevails in five sets.

Murray 1-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 6-4 Basilashvili.

Australian Open 2022: Murray 5-4 Basilashvili

08:03 , Tom Kershaw

A forehand drifts just wide of the tramline and it’ll be three match points for Murray!

Australian Open 2022: Murray 5-4 Basilashvili

08:02 , Tom Kershaw

After three hours and 47 minutes, we enter what could be the final game and Murray starts it emphatically, leaping on a weak second serve to take a 0-15 lead.

Australian Open 2022: Murray 5-4 Basilashvili

08:00 , Tom Kershaw

Murray delivers an ace at a crucial time, having fallen behind 15-30 in the game. He lets out a roar and then confounds Basilashvili with a deft drop shot at the net to set up game point. An unforced backhand error hands Murray the game!

Basilashvili will now serve to stay in the match.

Australian Open 2022: Murray 4-4 Basilashvili

07:57 , Tom Kershaw

Murray attempts to respond instantly and takes Basilashvili to 30-30 on serve. The Georgian closes the game out with an ace, though, and the pressure is immediately back on Murray’s serve.

Australian Open 2022: Raducanu faces Stephens

07:52 , Tom Kershaw

Emma Raducanu returns to the grand slam stage later this morning in an extremely difficult test against another US Open champion in Sloane Stephens.

Australian Open 2022: Murray 4-3 Basilashvili

07:51 , Tom Kershaw

Basilashvili breaks back! It was a tired service game from Murray and on break point, the pair go back and forth in a gruelling 30-shot rally. It’s a war of attrition rather than a case of either player searching for a winner, and it’s Murray’s resistance that cracks first. We’re back on serve in the deciding set.

Australian Open 2022: Murray into fifth set

07:45 , Tom Kershaw

It has been a typically relentless first-round match for Andy Murray, who is now in a fifth set against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Two years after the Scot was ushered into retirement in Melbourne, he is fighting with every last drop of energy and has broken serve to close in on victory.

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