Tennis fans who heckle Novak Djokovic will be kicked out of Australian Open
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Tennis fans have been warned they will be booted out of the Australian Open if they heckle Novak Djokovic while he's playing.
The Serbian star is back in the country after being infamously kicked out of Australia last year for not being vaccinated against Covid-19.
The deportation on 'health and good order grounds' divided opinion and Aussies were split on whether he should've been allowed to play.
But Djokovic is ready to take on the rest of the world at Melbourne Park for the first time since 2021 and people have been told not to give him any grief.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley told the Herald Sun: "If they disrupt the enjoyment of anyone else - boom, they are out.
“We don’t want them on site. They can stay away or we will kick them out.”
Hecklers have been told they could face future bans from the Open if they are targeted by security services.
Craig Tiley says they've officially been warned.
“The one thing that I always liked about Melbourne is there is a great appreciation of excellence and for sport, I think more than anywhere in Australia,” he said.
“People from Melbourne and Victoria really understand sport well, I don’t think there is another city in the world that understand it as well as we do.
“So I have an expectation that people will appreciate that and be respectful.’’
The Open tournament director isn't sure what type of reception Djokovic will face when he steps onto the court for the first time.
He's set to play a sold-out match against Nick Kyrgios this Friday ahead of the Gram Slam's launch.
Djokovic said he didn't get vaccinated for Covid-19 before the Australian Open (despite rules stating he needed to have a jab) because he felt he was already immune from contracting the virus.
In an interview with the BBC, he says he's sticking to that mentality.
“I was never against vaccination,” he said.
“But I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body.
“I understand that globally, everyone is trying to put a big effort into handling this virus and seeing, hopefully, an end soon to this virus.”
He says he felt like he was public enemy number one after arriving into Australia last year.
"I felt that energy and that those looks from my colleagues and people that were in the tennis facility... that really hurt me a lot," he explained.
Featured Image Credit: Speed Media / Alamy. Susan Mullane / Alamy.
Topics: Novak Djokovic, Tennis, Australian Open, Australia