No Djokovic Down Under?

The Australian Open begins Monday, but Novak Djokovic’s status — and bid for a record-breaking 21st major title — is back in doubt.

On Friday, the Australian government canceled the Serb’s visa for a second time, saying it was “in the public interest” to bar the unvaccinated Djokovic from the country as it battles the pandemic. 

The World No. 1 now faces another legal battle this weekend if he wants to compete for his 10th Australian Open title and fourth in a row.

From the sidelines, he’d face the prospect of not being the first man to 21 — and watching the next generation steal his thunder.

  • No. 6 seed Rafael Nadal could break the tie himself, surpassing Djokovic and Roger Federer with his 21st Grand Slam title.
  • No. 2 seed and 2021 U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev (25) could cement his arrival as the top men’s player in the world with a second Grand Slam win in a row.
  • No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev (24) has reached two semifinals and the 2020 U.S. Open final but has never won.

If Djokovic does play, his half of the bracket sets him up for a potential semifinal meeting with Nadal or Zverev.

Djokovic and Medvedev remain the favorites (+150*) followed by Zverev (+275*) and Nadal (+900*).The winner will take home around $2.1 million of the $54 million purse.

If Djokovic can’t play, his next shot at No. 21 will be the French Open in late May.