The Australian Open is known for being littered with controversies. Perhaps the biggest of which came in 2022, before the tournament even began. Novak Djokovic, the tournament favorite, landed in Australia confident he had obtained the required medical exemptions to play. However, after arriving in Melbourne, he was detained, questioned, and ultimately deported. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke cited Djokovic as a ‘talisman of anti-vaccine sentiment’, with fears that his presence could lead to ‘civil unrest’.

One of the most memorable controversies came during the 2005 tournament when Lleyton Hewitt was involved in a bitter match against Juan Ignacio Chela. A public squabble, which included Chela appearing to spit towards Hewitt, resulted in Chela being fined $2600 and Hewitt’s coach clashing with Chela’s entourage.

In 1998, Petr Korda, who had won the tournament, tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug Nandrolone at Wimbledon. He was later suspended and ultimately retired.

The 2020 tournament saw tennis legends John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova demanding that Margaret Court Arena be renamed due to Court’s homophobic views. However, the duo were found to have broken safety protocols.

McEnroe had a history of misbehaving, getting disqualified from a match in 1990 for misconduct. Accusations of Roger Federer being favored in 2018, allegations of Novak Djokovic’s father being involved in a pro-Russia rally, and a late-night, epic match between Andy Roddick and Younes El Aynaoui in 2003 round out some of the most controversial moments in the history of the Australian Open.

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