Unvaccinated world number one Novak Djokovic has signed up to play at next month’s ATP Dubai tennis tournament, reports said on Wednesday, after his deportation from Australia prevented a tilt at a record 21st Grand Slam title.
A leaked entry list shared by tennis journalists on social media and picked up by several outlets showed Djokovic named as the top seed for the 21-26 February event.
The 34-year-old Serb lost a legal battle to remain in Australia and defend his Australian Open crown this month in a Covid controversy that made headlines around the world.
Djokovic’s next moves have been unclear since he flew out of Melbourne and home to Belgrade, via Dubai, as the tournament he has won a record nine times got underway in Melbourne.
The pandemic has proved damaging for the all-time tennis great, who organized a super-spreader tournament series in 2020 and was pictured maskless at an awards ceremony a day after he tested positive in December.
He was first handed an exemption to play by Tennis Australia despite his unvaccinated status, but Australian authorities revoked his visa in a decision that was ultimately upheld by the Federal Court.