Rublev is the fifth seed for the Australian Open, and is currently drawn to play Italian Gianluca Mager in the opneing round.
However, according to the Grand Slam rulebook, Rublev would be moved into Djokovic’s position in the draw if the Serbian withdraws from the tournament before Monday’s Order of Play is published, which usually happens on Sunday afternoon. That would mean Rublev would then play Miomir Kecmanović in the the first round.
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Rublev, who tested positive to COVID-19 last month, said it was a shame the Djokovic saga was dominating the headlines.
“I had no problem entering the country as I’m vaccinated,” he told Russian news agency TASS.
“The situation with Novak is very confusing. We don’t know all the details.
“Personal agreements do not give an athlete the right to cross the border, the law of the country is the law.
Djokovic hits practice courts early
“None of us would want to get into such a situation. I can only shrug my shoulders and regret that instead of tennis, everyone is discussing these things.”
Djokovic wasn’t due to practice today until 2:45pm (AEDT), but raised eyebrows by appearing at Melbourne Park early this morning.
As he waits for a decision from Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, the world No.1 changed his practice time to 9:30am.
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