Patrick Mouratoglou believes Novak Djokovic has a ‘huge emotional load’ on his return to the Australian Open.
Djokovic is set to play in 2022 after missing a Grand Slam. He was allowed into the country on a medical exemption despite not being vaccinated against Covid-19, but was subsequently deported and had his visa revoked before the tournament.
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“It’s going to be tough for Novak in Australia, that’s for sure,” Mouratoglou, former coach of Serena Williams, told Eurosport’s Arnold Mongote.
“He’s going to carry a big emotional load. Emotionally speaking, he’s been through a lot. No one is immune.”
“It’s going to be hard. I hope it doesn’t fall apart for overdoing it, like it did at the 2021 U.S. Open. But that will probably come after a period where he’s had a lot of rest.
“It’s pre-season, it’s the off-season and there’s no stress of competition. So he’s going to be rested emotionally, which is good. No, so you’ll have time to get used to the atmosphere there.”
The former world number one will start the 2023 season at the Adelaide International, where he will qualify for the nine-time Australian Open. If he wins again in Melbourne, he will match Rafael Nadal for the most men’s Grand Slam singles titles in history with 22.
Mouratoglou wants Djokovic to show ‘respect’ when he returns to Melbourne Park.
“I hope Australians welcome him. In my opinion everything that is said about him is unjust,” he said.
“If you go to a tennis stadium and see Djokovic play, love it or hate it, agree with it or not, all you can do is respect these great champions.
The Australian Open starts on January 16th.
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