Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray top bill on Magnificent Monday in Dubai

Djokovic row: Andrew Allison defends him, saying its his 'choice'

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Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will top the bill on Magnificent Monday in Dubai in what will be the Serbian’s first appearance of the calendar year after he was stopped from competing at the Australian Open.

Djokovic missed out on the Australian Open after he was evicted from the country due to not being vaccinated against Covid.

The Serbian star failed to play in the tournament he had won for three years in a row prior to the shock no-show.

He had travelled to Australia on January 5 but was detained by the Australian Border Force as he did not meet entry requirements for an unvaccinated traveller.

He was then freed to compete on January 10, but the decision was reversed just four days later.

And his clash in the Dubai-based tournament against Lorenzo Musetti will be rewarded with him being at the top of the bill alongside British star Murray.

“We are delighted that the 30th anniversary of the ATP tournament will begin with so many attractive matches which are certain to provide great entertainment for those attending,” Dubai Duty Free Vice Chairman, Colm McLoughlin said.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome so many wonderful players back to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and look forward to many exciting matches in the days ahead.”

Murray joins him having crashed out of the Australian Open in the second round.

His straight-set loss against Taro Daniel signified a poor 12 months after only advancing to the third round at Wimbledon before a first-round exit in the US Open.

The Briton will face Australian Christopher O’Connell in the first round after the Sydney-born star advanced through the qualifiers.

Djokovic has meanwhile opened up on his vaccination debacle.

“I was never against vaccination,” he told the BBC.

“But I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body.

“Because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else. I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can.

“I was never against vaccination. I understand that globally, everyone is trying to put a big effort into handling this virus and seeing, hopefully, an end soon to this virus.”

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