Novak Djokovic sponsor's telling move ahead of return to tennis
One of Novak Djokovic's sponsors has backed the World No.1 ahead of his tennis return after the Australian Open deportation drama.
Djokovic made worldwide headlines at the beginning of 2022 when he arrived in Australia only to be detained and have his visa revoked.
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The unvaccinated 20-time grand slam champ spent nearly two weeks detained before losing his battle and was eventually deported ahead of the Australian Open.
Rafa Nadal went on to win the title and take himself ahead of both Roger Federer and Djokovic on the all-time leaderboard for grand slams.
Following the debacle, which confirmed Djokovic's status as unvaccinated, the World No.1 apologised for attending a photoshoot with L'Equipe after testing positive for Covid-19.
Since the debacle, there has been speculation surrounding the actions of Djokovic's major sponsors considering the saga made a huge impact on his image.
However, car company Peugeot has reportedly backed Djokovic as his sponsor upon his return in Dubai.
The World No.1 will play his first competitive match in 2022 at the Dubai International, where vaccination isn't required.
A source told Reuters that the company expects Djokovic to have the brand on his shirt at the Dubai International.
"We anticipate the Peugeot brand will be represented at the tournament in Dubai on Mr. Djokovic's shirt," the source close to Peugeot told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
The company were reportedly satisfied that Djokovic has spoken his mind.
"Peugeot has taken note of Mr. Djokovic's statements and is glad that he has expressed himself," the source added.
Novak Djokovic precautions for tennis return
The Dubai International has appeared to step up security detail for the World No.1 upon his return to tennis after the Australian Open debacle.
Authorities have taken extraordinary steps due to Djokovic's presence at the annual tournament near Dubai International Airport, with an unusual amount of scrutiny placed on the event.
Organisers blocked most photographers and videographers from Djokovic's news conference without any explanation, while security was tight for those who were granted access.
Security guards were also out in force at Djokovic's practice session, questioning reporters who tried to grab a glimpse of him serving and swinging on the court.
According to the Associated Press, security guards admitted the restrictions were not in place for any other players.
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