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The year’s first Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open, is here. Over 60 of the world’s best tennis players competing at Melbourne Park. However, the world’s top-ranked men’s tennis player, Novak Djokovic, isn’t among them.

The tennis star, and No. 1 seed at the Aussie Open, lost his appeal with the Australian government on Sunday morning regarding an earlier ruling to cancel his visa. As a result, Djokovic was forced to leave the country after a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the Australian government. In addition, there’s still a possibility that the Australian government could hand Djokovic a three-year ban from entering the country.

It was stated that Djokovic being unvaccinated would be a risk to public health in Australia and “may be counterproductive to efforts at vaccination by other in Australia.”

Djokovic has previously won the Australian Open nine times and was in search of his 21st career Grand Slam title. The 34-year old is currently tied with Rafael Nadal, who is competing in the 2022 Australian Open, and Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam titles in the history of the sport.

With Djokovic out, world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev assumed favorite status at the Australian Open and has met the high expectations thus far. The Russian has lost only one set through three rounds and is slated to play American Maxime Cressy in the fourth.

Fellow Russian Andrey Rublev hasn’t shared Medvedev’s success, as the No. 5 seed shockingly fell to Marin Cilic in the third round.

Last year’s women’s champion Naomi Osaka was eliminated in the third round after falling to unseeded Amanda Anisimova. Osaka’s defeat wasn’t the only surprising third-round result on the women’s side, as No. 10 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova lost to unseeded Sorana Cirstea in three sets.

Australia’s own Ashleigh Barty is favored to win the women’s singles title this year, and is in the final.

Key players who won’t be competing in the 2022 Australian Open include Serena Williams, Dominic Thiem, Roger Federer, Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Australian Open, beginning with the upcoming schedule and important results.

Source: Wajih AlBaroudi & Shanna McCarriston

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