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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Liam Prenderville

Novak Djokovic will "want revenge” in Australian Open return after visa saga

Tennis legend Mats Wilander believes Novak Djokovic is out for 'revenge' at this month's Australian Open.

Djokovic has returned to Australia for the upcoming tournament having been deported for breaching the country's border rules last year, due to his vaccination status.

He has so far received a warm reception Down Under as he prepares for the Melbourne tournament by taking part in the Adelaide International this week.

The Serb is the early favourite to win a 10th Australian Open title and former world No.1 Wilander believes he will be determined to write another chapter to the story later this month.

"I don't think that we have ever seen a more hungry tennis player in terms of wanting to get revenge or wanting to win matches. I don't think anyone has ever been hungrier than Novak is going to be," Wilander told Eurosport.

"I think Novak is the number one favourite for many, many reasons. I mean, obviously, one reason is that he's won the Australian Open nine times. The surface is perfect for him.

"The Australian Open has a history of having players winning it multiple times that are very consistent all the time - and I'm speaking from my own experience as I won there three times.

"When you play the way Novak plays, he doesn't have ups and downs. Everybody is not 100% ready in Australia. Some are very ready, some are not ready, and he is always somewhat ready. Somewhat ready for him means he's the favourite. The surface is perfect."

Djokovic attends a training session in Adelaide (AFP via Getty Images)

Djokovic stepped up his preparations for the tournament with a hard-fought victory over Quentin Halys in Adelaide on Thursday.

The Serb trailed 5-2 in the first set and then 5-3 in the second, but ultimately prevailed to win 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5).

Next up is Denis Shapovalov in the quarter-finals as the build-up begins to the Australian Open, which kicks off on January 14 in Melbourne.

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