“Limbo,” the previous Australian Open match director Paul McNamee had stated this week, “is the worst state of affairs for the match.”
But for days, the uncertainty of Novak Djokovic’s standing had hung over the occasion. The choice on Friday to cancel his visa for the second time may yield some readability. His plan to enchantment that ruling will solely lengthen it.
However coming when it did, a day after Djokovic was placed in the No. 1 spot within the males’s draw, the cancellation of his visa — whether it is upheld — may drive a reshuffling of the lads’s bracket.
If Djokovic had been to be kicked out of Australia, the draw for the lads’s singles match must be reconfigured. In keeping with Grand Slam guidelines, the No. 5 seed, Andrey Rublev, would transfer into Djokovic’s vacant slot within the draw. Rublev’s place at No. 5 would then be crammed by one other seed as a part of a sequence of cascading modifications.
But when Djokovic appeals and delays his departure, or if his withdrawal had been to return after the order of play for opening day has been launched, his place could be taken by a so-called fortunate loser: a participant who had misplaced within the qualifying match after which been drawn by lot to obtain a newly open spot.
And as an alternative of getting Djokovic as the favourite to win his report tenth title, and twenty first Grand Slam singles championship over all, the main focus would shift to a few of his almost definitely rivals for the trophy: the U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev; the Olympic champion Alexander Zverev; and the 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.
None of it, in fact, is good for the Open.
“If Novak was going to be kicked out,” McNamee stated, “the time to do it was earlier than the draw.”