Novak Djokovic took a moment to show his appreciation for the Melbourne crowd who gave him a warm reception at Melbourne Park. On Friday, Djokovic played against Nick Kyrgios in an exhibition match at Rod Laver Arena. 12 months ago, Djokovic was deported from Australia and denied participation at the Australian Open.
Even though Djokovic was beaten by Kyrgios in an exhibition match, he admitted that receiving a warm welcome meant a lot to hm. “Thank you so much, I feel a bit emotional right now, to be honest. I was really looking forward to coming back to this court, so thank you all you guys for coming out tonight for a great cause.
It feels great to be back in Australia and back in Melbourne. It is the court where I created the best memories of my tennis career," Djokovic said.
Djokovic blamed the media for portraying him in a bad light
Before the start of the 2022 season, Djokovic applied for a special medical exemption to compete at the Australian Open.
After he was granted one, he flew to Australia. But then the whole chaos happened and Djokovic ended up being deported from Australia. A few days ago, Djokovic hit out at the media for suggesting 12 months ago that he tried to break the rules.
"I understood why they were frustrated, but I have to say the media presented it in a completely wrong way because that's not what happened, and a lot of people still have the wrong idea about what happened. There were two or three more people that came into Australia 10 days before I did with exactly the same exemption that I had and I was just following the rules.
My exemption was verified by an independent body and panel of doctors, so it was unknown who was giving the request, and I came in with all the valid papers. Everything got out of hand and then I was labelled as this or that.
It was so big in the media that I just could not fight that, I didn't even want to get into that. I obviously wanted to stay here and play tennis, but at some point with the amount of craziness going around I just wanted to get out and go back home," Djokovic told 9News Melbourne.
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