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Novak Djokovic has landed back in Australia for the first time since his much-publicised deportation ahead of the last Australian Open.

And, although his original deportation divided opinion in the country and his subsequent return has sparked another debate, tournament organiser Craig Tiley thinks the Australian public will welcome Djokovic’s return.

The Serbian was at the centre of a visa issue last January when he was originally given permission to enter Australia which was then revoked due to his Covid vaccination status.

The former world number one was held in an immigration centre as his appeal went through, while there was an international public and media frenzy over the outcome and what consequences this may have.

While Djokovic wasn’t allowed to play the 2022 Grand Slam, there was a question over whether his deportation would include the standard clause that would prevent him from returning for a three-year period.

That question was put to rest a few weeks ago, when the current Australian government overturned Djokovic could return to play in the 2023 Grand Slam.

Now Tiley, has spoken out saying he is confident that despite the history and background, he believes the Australian public will open their arms to Djokovic and react well to his appearance.

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"I have a great deal of confidence in the Australian public, we welcome him (Djokovic) back to Australia " Tiley told reporters.

“I think as we speak he’s landing in Adelaide and I think that he is going to be again the player to beat.”

Djokovic has won a record nine Australian Open titles and is largely considered favourite to pick up his tenth title, which would also make him level with Rafael Nadal on 22 Grand Slam crowns.

Tiley believes that Djokovic’s record and crowd-pleasing performances will be enough to win over any doubters in the crowd.

"We're a very well-educated sporting public, particularly those who come to the tennis, they love their tennis, they love seeing greatness, they love seeing great athleticism, great matches.

"And I have a lot of confidence that the fans will react like we hope they would react and have respect for that."

The 2023 Australian Open takes place at Melbourne Park from January 16th to 29th.

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