With the name of the world number one in the men’s list first on the schedule, the draw for the Australian Open has been made in Melbourne. Whether Novak Djokovic can go for his tenth Grand Slam victory in Australia is, however, by no means certain.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has not yet made a decision whether the Serb can stay in the country. Djokovic traveled to Australia last week on the assumption that due to evidence of a recent corona infection he could ‘just’ participate in the tournament, which starts Monday.

He was then detained at the airport; the Serb could not give a good reason why he had not been vaccinated and the evidence of his recent infection proved insufficient for a medical exemption.

Judge

Then Djokovic went to court. He was right, partly because the head of the medical service of the Australian tennis association said he had a “medical exception from vaccination” because of his recent infection.

Djokovic later admitted that he had made a mistake when filling out his entry form. Djokovic stated on the form that he had not been to other countries in the two weeks before arriving in Melbourne, but it could be seen on social media that he was recently in Spain.

Due to all the uncertainty surrounding the Serb, the draw was carried out on Thursday 75 minutes later than originally intended. Djokovic was paired with his compatriot and number 78 in the world Miomir Kecmanović.

Dutch contribution

Botic van de Zandschulp, with his 56th place in the world ranking the best Dutchman in Melbourne, will meet Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round. The 31-year-old German is the number 50 in the world and never got past the second round in Melbourne.

Van de Zandschulp, quarterfinalist at the US Open last year, played in the main tournament in Australia for the first time last year and then was killed in the first round against Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.

Tallon Groet in the first round (ATP-62) has a somewhat heavier bone in the first round. He meets the number 36 in the world, Fabio Fognini. The 34-year-old Italian has made it to the fourth round in Melbourne three times in the past four years.

The draw for the women’s tournament linked Arantxa Rus (WTA-66) to her former doubles partner Tamara Zidanšek. The Slovenian (24) is the number 31 in the world. The two won the Linz and Palermo tournaments together in 2020.

Qualifications

There is a chance that the Dutch contribution to Australia will increase even more in the coming days. Jesper de Jong, Arianne Hartono, Richèl Hogenkamp and Indy de Vroome all qualified for the finals of the qualifications in Melbourne.

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