1997 US Open finalist Greg Rusedski is in no doubt: Novak Djokovic would have won this year's Australian Open had he been allowed to compete at Melbourne Park. Djokovic, 35, holds the record for most wins at the Australian Open with his nine career wins and was aiming to win his fourth straight title in 2022.
Things took a turn, however, as the Serb was unable to play due to his expulsion from Australia, requiring months of mental recovery. In Djokovic's absence, the trophy was lifted by his old rival Rafael Nadal, champion after an extraordinary comeback against Daniil Medvedev.
"There is no doubt about it. He would have won it this year if they had let him play. He won it nine times, it is his best Slam. There is no doubt about it. Djokovic is a step up, he is a world class player, he has what it takes.
former 1997 US Open finalist Greg Rusedski said on Amazon Prime Video, as reported by Sportskeeda. Last week, good news for Djokovic: the Australian government informed the Serb that he had lifted his three-year ban on entering the country.
This means that the Belgrade champion will be able to return to Australia in January and compete for his 10th Australian Open title. "On the question about Australia, yes, I got the news and I was very, very happy to hear it.
It's been a tough year with everything that's obviously happened in Australia for me and people close to me. I think it's been a great New Year's gift, and I'm looking forward to going to Australia and hopefully having another successful Australian Open, which has historically been my most successful Grand Slam.
I've had some of my best memories on that court. I hope I can do more," Djokovic told Eurosport last week. It remains to be seen whether Novak, brimming with motivation after winning the ATP Finals, will actually manage to win his 22nd Grand Slam at Melbourne Park.
McCarvel praises Djokovic
Novak Djokovic received some great news last week as his Australian visa ban is set to be overturned by the government, enabling him to play in the first Grand Slam of 2023. "In clear tennis terms, he owns that tournament," Nick McCarvel said.
"You put him in the stature of Rafa at Roland Garros and Roger, maybe 10 years ago, the way he owned Wimbledon. Nole's been very fresh and he hasn't played as much tennis as a lot of the top guys because he wasn't allowed into the US...I think it's only going to help him come Australia when he is going to be even fresher.
Now Novak, at 35, he's still this guy that has kept himself in such great physical shape," the American expressed.