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If Djokovic Goes, What Happens to the Australian Open Bracket?

“Limbo,” the previous Australian Open event director Paul McNamee had mentioned this week, “is the worst state of affairs for the event.”

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 prolong it.

However coming when it did, a day after Djokovic was positioned within the No. 1 spot within the males’s draw, the cancellation of his visa — whether it is upheld — may pressure a reshuffling of the boys’s bracket.

If Djokovic had been to be kicked out of Australia, the draw for the boys’s singles event must be reconfigured. In accordance 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 collection 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 can be taken by a so-called fortunate loser: a participant who had misplaced within the qualifying event after which been drawn by lot to obtain a newly open spot.

And as a substitute of getting Djokovic as the favourite to win his file tenth title, and twenty first Grand Slam singles championship over all, the main focus would shift to 3 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, after all, is right for the Open.

“If Novak was going to be kicked out,” McNamee mentioned, “the time to do it was earlier than the draw.”

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