'Can't wait': Tennis fans erupt over Novak Djokovic announcement

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Novak Djokovic, pictured here on the practice court ahead of the Paris Masters.
Novak Djokovic hits the practice court ahead of the Paris Masters. Image: Getty

Novak Djokovic has sent tennis fans into a frenzy after announcing he will play singles and doubles on his return to the ATP Tour at the Paris Masters.

Fans have been waiting seven long weeks to see Djokovic back in action after last playing in the US Open final in September.

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And now they will get to see him twice as much after the World No.1 entered the doubles draw as well as the singles in Paris.

Djokovic will be aiming to bounce back from his setback in New York, where he had the chance to secure a calendar-year grand slam and claim the 21st career slam title that would take him past Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

However he fell to a straight-sets defeat to Daniil Medvedev in the final before withdrawing from Indian Wells in the aftermath.

The 34-year-old will be the top seed at the Masters 1000 event in Paris, where he is a five-time champion.

He will team up with countryman Filip Krajinovic with an eye on some doubles practice ahead of the Davis Cup at the end of November.

"He's going to play with Krajinovic, his buddy from the Davis Cup," tournament director Guy Forget told reporters.

"He said he would commit himself to play for the Davis Cup for his own country. This is why he wanted to play doubles here.

"We don't often see him play doubles, so we're delighted. It's rare to see a No.1 playing a Masters 1000 in doubles."

After a first round bye, Djokovic will open his Paris Masters singles campaign either against Italian Fabio Fognini or Marton Fucsovics from Hungary.

Fans were delighted to see Djokovic's name in the doubles draw and excited about the prospect of seeing him back in action.

However some expressed concerns that he might be overdoing it, especially after his fadeout at the Tokyo Olympics while playing singles and mixed doubles.

Novak Djokovic refuses to commit to Australian Open

Meanwhile, Djokovic has refused to commit to playing the Australian Open in January amid controversy around his vaccination status and quarantine conditions.

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week said unvaccinated players would be free to contest the Open if they completed two weeks in quarantine.

But Victoria Premier Dan Andrews slammed that door shut, insisting that unjabbed players would not be allowed into Melbourne Park (just like unvaccinated fans and officials).

Djokovic, who tested positive for Covid-19 last year, has repeatedly declined to reveal his vaccination status.

Victoria has introduced a vaccination mandate for professional athletes as it battles a resurgence of coronavirus cases.

Djokovic was non-committal when asked on Sunday in Paris about the likelihood of contesting the Open.

Novak Djokovic, pictured here with coach Goran Ivanisevic during a practice session ahead of the Paris Masters.
Novak Djokovic speaks to coach Goran Ivanisevic during a practice session ahead of the Paris Masters. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

"Well, I'm going to decide on whether I go to Australia or not after I see the official statement from Tennis Australia," the nine-time Australian Open champion said in his first press conference since his US Open final loss.

"Right now, we don't have any official announcement or statement. So until that's out, I won't be talking about this anymore, because I don't want to be part of the stories about the assumptions and what-ifs.

"When official condition requirements to travel to Australia and play in Australia are out, then obviously I'll see what I personally do with that, and also the bigger group of the players, you know, because the situation is obviously different in Australia than most parts of the world."

Djokovic said he is focused on finishing as year-end No.1 for a record seventh time.

"The year-end No.1 is on the line between Medvedev and myself," he said.

"So that's obviously the goal for the end of the season, other than trying to do well in the Davis Cup with the national team."

While eager to play, a coy Medvedev is also refusing to disclose his vaccine status.

"I always said it, that I really like Novak's answer about this. No matter if it's about vaccine, leg injury, head injury ... I want to keep my medical private for a reason," Medvedev said on Sunday.

with AAP

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