If Djokovic leaves, what will happen to the Australian Open?

“Limbo,” former Australian Open tournament director Paul McNamee said this week, “is the worst-case scenario for the tournament.” Howev...


“Limbo,” former Australian Open tournament director Paul McNamee said this week, “is the worst-case scenario for the tournament.”

However, for days, uncertainty about the status of Novak Djokovic hovered over the event. Friday’s decision to cancel his visa for the second time may provide some clarity. His plan to appeal this decision will only prolong it.

But coming when it happened, a day later Djokovic was placed in first place in the men’s table, the cancellation of his visa – if confirmed – could force a reshuffle of the men’s group.

If Djokovic were to be sent off from Australia, the draw for the men’s singles tournament would have to be reconfigured. Under Grand Slam rules, No.5 seed Andrey Rublev would take Djokovic’s vacant spot in the draw. Rublev’s spot at No.5 would then be taken by another seed as part of a series of cascading changes.

But if Djokovic appeals and delays his departure, or if his withdrawal were to come after the opening day order of play was published, his place would be taken by a so-called lucky loser: a player who had lost in of the qualifying tournament. then drawn by lot to receive a newly opened place.

And instead of having Djokovic as the favorite to win his record 10th title and 21st Grand Slam singles championship, the focus would be on three of his most likely rivals for the trophy: US Open champion Daniil Medvedev; Olympic champion Alexander Zverev; and 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.

None of this, of course, is ideal for the Open.

“If Novak were to be kicked out,” McNamee said, “the time to do so was before the toss.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: If Djokovic leaves, what will happen to the Australian Open?
If Djokovic leaves, what will happen to the Australian Open?
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