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Australian Open 2023: Fans who taunt Novak Djokovic will be kicked out, tournament director says

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Novak Djokovic has won a record nine titles at the Australian Open, but he became a controversial topic of conversation after he was deported before the 2022 event because of his COVID-19 vaccination status. The Serbian star is back for this year’s competition, and event organizers are making sure those planning to attend treat him respectfully.

“If they disrupt the enjoyment of anyone else—boom, they are out,” Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley told The Herald Sun. “We don’t want them on site. They can stay away or we will kick them out.”

There haven’t been any major issues reported so far. Djokovic prepared for the Australian Open by playing at Adelaide International earlier this month and received a warm welcome by the fans.

Djokovic was originally given a three-year ban, but the decision was eventually reversed by the Australian government and he received his visa ahead of this year’s competition.

Not only will the Australian Open be special because of his return to Melbourne Park, but it also gives Djokovic the opportunity to tie Rafael Nadal in total Grand Slam titles. Nadal — who won last year’s tournament — has a record 22 Grand Slam wins, while Djokovic is just one behind. 

They are on opposite sides of the bracket, which means there is a chance for a showdown between the two stars in the championship match. Nadal is entering as the world No. 2 with the No. 1 seed after Carlos Alcaraz pulled out because of an injury. Djokovic arrives as the world No. 5 and was given the No. 4 seed.

The 2023 Australian Open is set to start on Monday, Jan. 16. For everything you need to know about the tournament, including how to watch, seeding and notable matches, click here.

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