We were supposed to preface this Australian Open as a historic Grand Slam for Novak Djokovic. The one where he could surpass his best enemies Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the number of majors won. The one also where he could reach his own “Decima” in Australia, his favorite playground.
If at present, these historical records are still accessible since the Djoker still trains on the ground aussie, the many controversies linked to his arrival in Oceania finally took precedence over sporting issues.
While the draw for the first Grand Slam of the year was made this Thursday morning, the whole planet had its eyes on the presence or not of the world number one. Finally at the rendezvous, the big favorite of the tournament obtained a relatively lenient draw.
In the first part of the table, he will first be opposed to his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic and will not have any top 10 on his way before Matteo Berrettini (ATP 7) in the quarter-finals. But all this is only theory at present since his fate is in the hands of Alex Hawke, Australian Minister for Immigration. The world of the little yellow ball is therefore impatiently awaiting the verdict of the politician, who has the power to cancel the Serbian’s visa. But if he were to be expelled, what impact will this decision have on the men’s draw? Two scenarios are possible. Explanations.
Djokovic is expelled before the publication of the program of the first day
In this case, the table would be partly turned upside down. To leave the “protected” seeds, Medvedev, Zverev and Tsitsipas, in place, it is the Russian Andrey Rublev, fifth seed, who would thus take the place of the Serb, traditionally reserved for the No. 1 seed. In the game of musical chairs, the place of the Russian will then be taken by Gaël Monfils (ATP 19 and 17th seed), who will therefore have to change parts of the table and face the Italian Gianluca Mager. The Frenchman’s place would be taken over by the first non-seeded player, namely Alexander Bublik.
Djokovic is expelled after the publication of the program of the first day
This is probably the scenario that all players in the first part of the table dream of. In the event of late expulsion from Nole, this will be replaced by a Lucky Loser (a loser from the last qualifying round). This would therefore leave a royal road to players like Monfils, Norrie or Garin, who all find themselves on the road to the Serb before the quarter-finals and would then have a lot to play for.
In these two cases, it would not impact the only Belgian in smooth since David Goffin (ATP 45) was paid in the second part of the table.
On the other hand, if Djokovic appeals the future decision of the Minister of Immigration, he will be able to continue playing until he is expelled from Australian territory, loses or wins the tournament. But he will not be replaced in the middle of the tournament. If the Serb has to retire, his next opponent will advance directly to the next round.
The saga is far from over but everyone is waiting for one thing: that after so much controversy, the little yellow ball will finally start to be talked about from Monday.