But Australian government policy has changed and now allows unvaccinated foreigners to enter the country even without an exemption. Djokovic, a nine-time Australian Open singles champion, returned to Australia this year and has received a warm welcome so far en route to the semi-finals of the premier tournament in Adelaide this week.
Although Algarez finished the season at No. 1, becoming the youngest ever to do so, Djokovic finished 2022 on pace, winning the ATP Finals for the sixth time. It was a triumphant conclusion to his strange and highly turbulent season, in which his unvaccinated status prevented him from competing in two majors (the Australian Open and the US Open) and four Masters 1000 events in North America. She did not receive ranking points for winning Wimbledon because the tours decided to eliminate the ranking points competition in light of the Russian and Belarusian ban.
Despite that huge math flaw, Djokovic is still ranked No. 5 and was the favorite to win the Australian Open before Algarz withdrew. But the absence of the Spanish, reigning no. 1 and the longest reigning no. 1 eliminates the alluring possibility of a generational conflict.
Serbian Djokovic, 35, has held the men’s top spot for a record 373 weeks and has the chance to reclaim that spot by winning a 10th Australian Open title.
Algaras, who reached the third round in Melbourne last year, will have to watch from afar this time and a grinding, global, increasingly physical game made all the harder by a short off-season.
She should be enjoying 2022, winning five singles titles and providing a surplus of social media clip material with her aerial, all-action style and taste for sudden and exciting changes of pace: often a thunderous forehand followed by a deft drop shot. . He was also athletic, giving opponents points and the benefit of the doubt on many occasions.
But his intense running clearly took a mental and physical toll. After winning the US Open, she won only six of her next 10 singles matches, failing to reach another final. He lost both matches in straight sets to Andrey Rublev and Ruud at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition.
Unlike his flashy talent, his staying power, right now, is a question mark.