Novak Djokovic says his deportation from Australia will stay with him for the rest of his life.
Djokovic, 35, was detained and sent home in January due to his COVID-19 vaccine status after trying to enter the country to compete at the Australian Open.
But he overturned a three-year ban on applying for a visa in November and will compete in the 2023 tournament.
“You can’t forget those events,” Djokovic said.
“It’s one of these things that sticks with you, it stays with you for I guess the rest of your life.
“It was something that I’ve never experienced before, and hopefully never again.”
The Serb admitted: “It is a valuable life experience for me. I have to move on. Coming back to Australia speaks how I feel about this country, how I feel about playing here.
“I was really hoping that I’m going to have my permission back to get back into Australia and play here because it’s a country where I’ve had tremendous success in my career.”
The 21-time grand slam champion has won nine Australian Open titles.
Australian Open qualifying starts on January 9, with the first round getting underway on January 16. (BBC)