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Novak Djokovic returns to action for first time since being deported from Australia

Dubai Tennis Championship
Posted at 3:17 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 18:39:23-05

On Monday, Novak Djokovic played his first professional tennis match since being deported from Australia for not being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Djokovic, the No. 1 ranked tennis player in the world, beat Italian Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

He walked on and off the court to a round of applause despite criticism for remaining unvaccinated.

In an on-court interview, he said that he was satisfied with his performance considering it was his first match in more than two months.

Djokovic's schedule for the remainder of the year is still up in the air. In an interview with the BBC, he said he would be willing to miss the French Open and Wimbledon if COVID-19 vaccinations are mandatory.

Despite his opposition to getting the vaccine, he said he is not part of the anti-vaccine movement.

"I was never against vaccination," he told the BBC, "but I've always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body."

Djokovic will likely play his next match on Wednesday. He's awaiting the winner of Tuesday's match between Karen Khachanov and Alex de Minaur.