Novak Djokovic will face Italian Lorenzo Musetti at the Dubai Tennis Championships in the Serb’s first match since being expelled from Australia in January due to his COVID-19 vaccination status.
Djokovic, 34, who is not vaccinated, was deported after an 11-day rollercoaster ride involving two visa cancellations, two legal challenges and five nights in two stays at a migrant detention hotel where asylum seekers are held. asylum.
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Dubai tournament director Salah Tahlak said organizers had no concerns about the world number one’s vaccination status.
“The government here doesn’t require anyone to be vaccinated to enter the country,” Tahlak told Eurosport.
The UAE is gradually lifting COVID-related restrictions. Tennis spectators will be required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, tournament organizers said on their website.
If top seed Djokovic beats world number 57 Musetti, he will face either Russian Karen Khachanov or Australian Alex de Minaur.
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The tournament, which also includes top 10 players Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jannik Sinner, begins on Monday.
The men’s competition follows the WTA portion of the tournament, with 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko taking on Veronika Kudermetova in Saturday’s women’s final.