Djokovic out for 'revenge' as he returns to Melbourne

As the Australian Open kicks off this month, tennis icons say that Novak Djokovic will call on the controversy of 2022 in his quest to win a record-tying tenth title at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic out for 'revenge' as he returns to Melbourne
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Tennis legends John McEnroe and Mats Wilander say that Novak Djokovic will need to embrace any bitterness he may have to exact his "revenge" on-court at this year's Australian Open.

"The revenge he most probably wants will be winning in Melbourne," Wilander told Eurosport.

Djokovic was deported from Australia just prior to last year's tournament and faced a three-year visa ban, which was ultimately overturned in November.

Despite this, Djokovic has already received a warm welcome at the Adelaide International upon his return to the country this year.

"I think he will be overjoyed at first, but then there is going to sort of be a bit of bitterness, I believe, and he has got to get through that," McEnroe said.

"I think he can get through that, he’s obviously proven that he has gone through some unbelievably difficult obstacles, none more so than the last 12 months of his career."

Wilander added that Djokovic's victory at the Australian Open is crucial in order to keep up with his rival Rafael Nadal, who is expected to triumph at the French Open later in the year.

Winning a tenth Australian Open title would be an impressive feat for Djokovic, as it would require him to defeat what is likely the strongest field in tennis on hard courts, according to Wilander.

"I think that if you win 10 Australian Opens on hard courts, that means you have to beat maybe the best field in tennis because everybody knows how to play on hard courts," he said.

"So I think that achievement would be unbelievable. Nine is already unbelievable."

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  • By Avi Yemini

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